Midland Football League
Tuesday 7th September 2021
Tividale 2-2 Lye Town
Draw but no Bore
After a tough to take FA Cup defeat against Spalding United. Maybe a local derby clash against Lye Town 3 days later is just what the doctor ordered. No time to mope or lament on what could have been as this will be one of the toughest games of our season.
Manager Dave King made 4 changes to Saturday’s starting lineup. With Tom Hurdman out injured, Hayden Reeves returned to the centre of defence. Both Jordan Edwards and Lewis McPike had started sgainst Spalding after long term injuries and so were rested and replaced by the returning Dan Smith and the re-signing Darragh Bustin. The 4th change saw the first start for new signing Brogan Halpin who came in for the rested Cameron Milne.
As probably expected, the opening minutes were a case of the two teams cancelling each other out in the middle of the park with neither side able to create a clear-cut chance and both defences dealing with whatever little threat there was. It also did not help with the temperature touching a ridiculous 30 degrees C at 7:45pm on the 7th September
The first bit of action came on 16 minutes. A poor Lye corner was missed at the front post by Brad Welding, but it caught Lye forward Jayden Owusu Nepaul by surprise and it came off him and out for a goal kick. On 18 minutes a Tividale long throw from Bustin fell to Luke Carter, but he could not keep his shot down and he put it over the bar.
The first piece of quality produced the opening goal on 22 minutes. A quick Lye throw down their left found ex Tividale player Shaquille Whittingham who had been kept quiet up until now. He proceeded then to beat two Tividale defenders and then curled the ball past Harrison and in off his far post.
Whittingham was now causing Tividale all sorts of problems on both flanks, especially with his ability to go either side of his marker and on 25 minutes Lye should have gone 2-0 up. Whittingham now on the right flank was able to whip in a cross that Nepaul managed to head over the Tividale bar.
With the temperature still in the mid 20s. The game was halted for mid-half drinks break. Despite the break Lye were soon back into their stride and twice had Tividale scrambling to clear Joe Lawley corners. On his third corner in the 36th minute Nepaul again headed over.
With a minute of the half remaining Tividale had their first real sight of goal. Elliott Hartley broke on the counter, but young Lye keeper Alfie Brooks did well in blocking the initial shot. It fell to McPike (who had replaced the injured Welding) but he could only find the side netting from an acute angle. As the half came to a close. both sides had chances. First Brooks was again forced to save from Hartley. Then from Brooks’s clearance Whittingham found Nepaul but again the front man failed to hit the target.
HALF TIME Tividale 0-1 Lye Town
Once again, we don’t know what was said at half time, but it made an immediate impact. From a Bustin corner from the left, Lye cleared behind for another from the other side. Hartley stepped up to take this one and he found Carter unmarked in the box on 47 minutes and his header gave Brooks no chance. On 52 minutes Smith literally mirrored Wittingham’s glide past defenders 30 minutes earlier but while the former ended his run with a sublime finish. Smith tried to tee up McPike and the Lye defence intervened and cleared.
On 59 minutes came another touch of brilliance and after thinking Lye’s opener may not be bettered at The Beeches this season Bustin proved us all wrong. He collected the ball in his own half outpaced 3 Lye players and from about 30 yards unleashed a thunderbolt that flew past Brooks into the top right-hand corner clipping the inside of the post on the way into the back of the net.
Bustin went close to extending the lead in the 65th minute. When from a free kick from a mere 25 yards he left Brooks rooted but the ball just went wide of his far post. Tividale were now in the ascendancy and really needed that third goal and it almost came in the 69th minute when a McPike shot was blocked by Brooks.
With the home side not getting that two-goal cushion. This Lye side were always capable of getting back on level terms and in the 73rd minute Whittingham found himself in about the same position as he did when he scored the opener, but this time he pushed the ball wide. But 6 minutes later the visitors were on level terms. Tividale failing to clear their lines on a couple of occasions, the ball fell to Wittingham who found Ben Billingham who lashed the ball into the back of the net.
Tividale sub Jordan Edwards was denied by the alert Brooks in the 88th minute just a couple of minutes after coming on. And in injury time a Bustin long throw had Lye’s Musa Ceesay in all sorts of trouble and somehow, he shanked the ball over his own bar and that was the last action of the game
FULL TIME Tividale 2-2 Lye Town
Tividale: – 1. Adam Harrison, 2. Hayden Reeves, 3. Brad Welding (15. Lewis McPike 27), 4. Luke Carter, 5. Ben Birch, 6. Matt Hunt, 7. Darragh Bustin, 8. Curtis Cocking, 9. Dan Smith, 10. Brogan Halpin (12. Cameron Milne 79), 11. Elliott Hartley (14. Jordan Edwards 84)
Unused Subs: – 16. TJ Munthali.