Midland Football League
Saturday 18th September 2021
Tividale 1-0 Haughmond
Tivi have to earn the points
After two successive away defeats and conceding three goals in each of them. It was nice to get back to The Beeches, pick up a clean sheet and most importantly pick up the three points. But Tividale were made to work hard for them against a Haughmond side that certainly did not look like they were without a league win so far this season. Playing like this and that statistic will soon disappear.
With the Boss back from his short break, it was a case of a couple of changes. The first change was switching to a back four from the three centre backs that we had played all season, with Dan Bryson the man rested. Cameron Milne also came into the middle of the park and that was the only personnel change in the lineup.
It was the visitors that started the brighter as Tividale just could not get into the game in the opening exchanges but although they threatened with a string of early corners they could not find the breakthrough and it was the home side who posed the first real goal threat against the run of play on 5 minutes when Dan Smith was able to get a shot in but it was comfortably saved by away keeper Sam Jones. Haughmond should have gone ahead on 10 minutes when a free kick towards the back post was headed back into the danger zone by Calum Bennett and Josh Thomas met it on the volley, but Adam Harrison pulled off another stunning save and beat the ball away.
It had taken Tividale 15 minutes to really get into the game and Smith and Elliott Hartley were now posing a real threat up front for the men from The Beeches. Smith found some space down the Tividale right and played the ball into Hartley, but his shot was blocked and there where appeals for handball turned down by referee Bradley Tonks. Haughmond then went straight down the other end and their own appeals for a handball are also turned down.
As the game begins to liven up Milne rolled in Hartley on 20 minutes, but his shot is turned around the post by Jones. Three minutes later and a Haughmond free kick at the edge of the Tividale penalty area is played short to Scott Ryan by Bennett completely fooling the Tividale defence that were expecting the shot, but Tividale closed him down and cleared the threat. Ryan then tried his luck from a fair way out that Harrison takes with no problem. On 34 minutes a Hartley cross is headed clear for a corner by Haughmond defender Finn Sansom. From the resulting Bustin corner to the back post Matt Hunt heads it back across the goal but Harley could only fire it over Jones’s bar.
Five minutes before the break and a poor clearance from Jones falls at the feet of Smith but Jones’s made immediate amends touching the Smith shot over the bar and that was the end of the first half action
Half Time: Tividale 0-0 Haughmond
Haughmond’s Thomas had the first sight of goal in the 48th minute but again could not hit the target sending his effort high and wide. With Tividale’s first attack of the half in the 50th minute they went ahead. Harrison again trying to turn the Haughmond back line with a punt up field that caused a mistake by the defence and Hartley was left one on one with Jones and he steered the ball past the keeper and into the net. Hartley went close to doubling the Tividale lead in the 57th minute when from a Milne cross, he hooked the ball goal wards only to see it skim the top off the crossbar and go over.
Two minutes later and it was Haughmond’s turn to hit the woodwork, when a Ryan corner evaded everyone and hit Harrison’s back post before Tividale cleared. With 61 minutes on the clock Ryan was given too much room to get his shot in but Harrison turns it away for a corner. Smith is then put through, but Jones beats away his shot and Bennett completes the clearance putting the ball out for a corner. Smith then flicked the ball on for Milne, but his strike was well saved by Jones. But the assistant blew for offside.
Thomas and Ryan again joined forces to create another chance for the visitors in the 71st minute but again Harrison was equal to Ryan’s shot. In the 82nd minute Smith again won the flick on, this time for Bustin who smacked the ball home but again the assistant’s flag was raised and offside was given. Bustin had another chance with four minutes of normal time to go but this time Jones was able to save the shot with some comfort.
Tividale then decided to batten down the hatches and take the 1-0 win as Haughmond struggled to get hold of the ball and launch any meaningful attacks on the Tividale goal.
Tividale: – 1. Adam Harrison, 2. Tom Hurdman, 3. Darragh Bustin, 4. Luke Carter, 5. Hayden Reeves, 6. Matt Hunt, 7. Lewis McPike (14. Dan Bryson 72), 8. Curtis Cocking (15. Brogan Halpin 87), 9. Dan Smith, 10. Cameron Milne, 11. Lewis McPike
Unused Subs: – 12. Jordan Edwards