|February 8, 2022||7:45 pm||MFL Premier||2021-22|
Midland Football League
Tuesday 8th February 2022
Tividale 1-1 Stourport Swifts
We are not so Swift against Stourport
After the tremendous run in the league of five straight wins and a draw last time out against run away leader’s Hanley Town. An eleven-day break was not the ideal preparation against a side that came to The Beeches in fine form, only losing one in their last six. Added to that the home side were without three of the players that contributed massively to that run.
So, Dave King had to shuffle his pack again with the loss of Darragh Bustin and Brad Welding both serving one match suspensions for their double yellow cards against Bewdley Town and Jason wood who failed a fitness test due to his back strain. In came Lewis McPike, plus Dan Smith and Hayden Reeves both starting their first games due to injuries picked up before Christmas.
Stourport started much the brighter and they created the first chance after 8 minutes when a Drew Cavanan pass was played into the former West Bromwich Albion striker Lee Hughes, who in turn laid the ball off to Mason Birch, but Birch fired his shot wide. Stourport keeper Dominic Richards had his first piece of action in the 12th minute when he was alert to take a deflected shot that looped up into his area.
Stourport then had a couple of decent chances in the 15th and 16th minutes. The first when an inch perfect Drew Canavan free kick was met by Hughes, but Hawk beat it away and then Hawk comfortably took a Birch effort. The home side had their first real threat after 21 minutes when Elliott Hartley broke from a Curtis Cocking ball but he got his attempted chip wrong and he cleared Richards cross bar.
Tividale took the lead against the run of play on the next attack in the 24th minutes, when Stourport skipper Martin Slevin dwelt on the ball was disposed by Ethan Muckley and when left in a one-on-one position with Richards, he made no mistake firing home. It could have been two up a minute later when Hartley found McPike and Richards did well to push the latter’s shot around the upright.
Hughes then got onto a Taylor Townsend cross after 33 minutes but could not keep a deft back heel on target and it went wide of Hawk’s post. But the visitors were deservedly level on 35 minutes when after giving the ball away in the middle of the park, the ball was quickly swept forward and Townsend timed his run perfectly as the home side appealed in vain for offside, he rounded Hawk and rolled it into an empty net. The last action of the half saw Richards again on hand to deny Hartley, coming off his line smartly, to gather the ball just in front of the forward.
Half time: Tividale 1-1 Stourport Swifts
Dan Smith had the first effort of the second period on 48 minutes but he put his shot over the bar from distance. On 50 minutes Jason Chilton gets his head to a Townsend cross but he heads it straight into Hawk who gathers at the second attempt. Reeves then intercepts a Stourport pass down the left and finds McPike with a lovely cross on the run but McPike’s glancing front post header flashes across Richard goal and wide of his far post. Smith then forced another decent save out of Richards in the 65th minute when his attempted pass comes back to him and he tried a snapshot.
Stourport went close in the 69th minute when from their free kick, it is headed to the edge of the box by the Tividale defence. Only as far as Birch, but again he cannot keep his shot down and it sail’s over the bar. Three minutes later and Stourport substitute Edison Antonio stabs a Townsend cross the wrong side of the upright.
As the game moved into the final 15 minutes, Stourport were now looking the more likely to win the game and Townsend fired over the bar after a tremendous run in the 77th minute. On 80 minutes Josh Marsden does excellent down Stourport’s left flank with a bit of trickery but hits his shot is straight at Hawk.
With game moving into injury time Stourport had one last chance. Edilson Antonio with a tremendous effort from just outside the Tividale 6 yard box, but typical of the Tividale defending a couple of players threw themselves at the shot, it deflected off one of them, struck the cross bar and was hooked clear.
In the end we can be pleased with the point as usual we worked hard and created chances against a good Swifts side. We did ride our look in those final 15 minutes but we’ll take that.
Full time: Tividale 1-1 Stourport Swifts
Tividale: – 1. Peter Hawk, 2. Tom Hurdman, 3. Hayden Reeves, 4. Luke Carter, 5. Dan Bryson 6. Matt Hunt, 7. Lewis McPike, 8. Curtis Cocking, 9. Dan Smith (14. Cameron Milne 79) 10. Ethan Muckley, 11. Elliott Hartley
Unused Subs: – 12. Harvey Portman, 15. TJ Munthali, 16. Joe Burroughs