|March 12, 2022||3:00 pm||MFL Premier||2021-22|
Midland Football League
Saturday 12th March 2022
Stourport Swifts 4-2 Tividale
Stourport too Swift for Tivi
It was supposed to be a day celebrating the 250th time that manager Dave King had took his place in the Tividale dug out. But no one had told the home side and in an amazing opening 24 minutes the score was 3-2 to the hosts.
For his landmark game. The Gaffer decided to keep the same starting eleven that earned that gritty win at Whitchurch Alport a week ago. The only change was Joe Burroughs on the bench in place of the Bilston Town bound Cameron Milne.
It was Tividale who started the game the better and Lewis McPike had the first shot in the very first minute, but he could not keep his effort down. They continued to dominate possession as Swifts struggled to get into the game. On 7 minutes Stoirport were in the game and how. A long ball found ex West Brom and Coventry striker Lee Hughes and he chested the ball down to strike partner and another journeyman Lee Chilton who’s shot bounced in front of Tividale keeper Peter Hawk, who misjudged the ball and it flew over his dive and into the net.
Four minutes later and Swifts had restored their two-goal advantage. This time Tividale allowed Jim Hanson the freedom of their penalty area after cutting in from the left and he duly fired home from an acute angle. Tividale were still not done and on 24 minutes the deficit was back to one. A poor Richards clearance was intercepted by Ethan Muckley and his neat chip found Smith who steered the ball past the onrushing Richards. 3-2
The action was still end to end as both teams looked like scoring on every attack they had. Hughes headed a Taylor Townsend 34th minute cross wide when he looked odds on to score. Then on 38 minutes Tividale had a great chance to level the scores when Elliott Hartley found Smith who held off his marker, but this time he put his effort wide.
Smith had the last chance of the half when again poor defending in the 44th minute left him clear on goal but he got his finish all wrong and the ball sailed high and wide.
Half time: Stourport Swifts 3-2 Tividale
From the first real threat on goal of the half, Stourport went 4-2 up. In the 51st minute with the ball swirling in the wind, Hughes held off the challenge of Dan Bryson, beat him to a ball placed the ball past Hawk and into the back of the net.
The game itself settled down and the second period never looked like it was going to see the flurry of goals that there was in the first. Swifts could have extended their lead on the hour mark when Mason Birch put in Townsend but he shot wide. Hawk then had to be alert at his near post in the 67th minute when Swifts substitute Edilson Antonio lashed a fierce effort but the keeper did well to beat it away.
Going into the final 10 minutes it was the home side that were the stronger as Tividale struggled to put any concerted pressure on the home defence. Swifts had a couple of decent chances to extend the lead in the closing period. First in the 85th minute after some great work from Antonio he played in fellow sub Elliott Lees but he fired his shot straight at Hawk. Then in the 88th minute Antonio was again the beneficiary of some sloppy Tividale defending, but again he could not hit the target.
It was not the defensive performance which we have been used to but a major plus was that with 15 minutes to go young 16-year-old youth team player Owen Waterfield came on for his first team debut.
Full time: Stourport Swifts 4-2 Tividale
Tividale: – 1. Peter Hawk, 2. Tom Hurdman (12. Lucas Muckley 66), 3. Darragh Bustin, 4. Luke Carter, 5. Dan Bryson 6. Matt Hunt, 7. Lewis McPike, 8. Curtis Cocking, 9. Dan Smith, 10. Ethan Muckley (14. Owen Waterfield 75), 11. Elliott Hartley
Unused Subs: – 13. Louis Connor. 15. Joe Burroughs, 16. TJ Munthali