DALE CROWNED CHAMPIONS AS GATE SUFFER DEFEAT
The Gates' failure to get any joy at Tipton saw Tividale crowned league Champions last night
Highgate failed to beat their bogey side for the fourth time this season, Tipton finishing comfortable winners over visitors who failed to create a single clear cut chance throughout the whole of the ninety minutes. The game was decided by a goal in each half, Gate always second best against a home side which barely had to break into a sweat to secure their win.
Highgate’s defeat leaves Tividale celebrating as champions with Gate now left to battle it out with Boldmere, Quorn and Coleshill for second place. With injury keeping Dean Curtis out for the rest of the season, Tom Reynolds ill and both Tom Lacey and Luke Fuller absent because of work commitments manager Lee Adams was again forced into changes, Leon Blake and Daryl Jones both earning a starting place and Shane Benjamin returning to accompany Lei Brown up front. After a slow opening ten minutes Tipton’s Mike Perks had the first attempt on goal hit high and wide, Craig Hall then conceding a corner well defended by Richard Robinson with a clearing header under pressure.
Jones broke down the right hand side finding Brown for a shot blocked, but once again Gate were their own worst enemies constantly giving away possession with a string of stray passes and being forced on the defensive with both Blake and Nathan Edgington doing sterling work in sweeping up at the back. In 15th minute Brown found himself in the clear for a volley fired narrowly wide, a good opportunity and what was to be the closest Gate came to scoring all night.
Tipton keeper James Pemberton punched a Brown cross away from the lurking Reece Lynch, Gate then wasting a couple of free kicks awarded for fouls on Nathan Pulisciano and Brown. The game had turned into a tepid affair and although Pemberton saved on the edge of his box from Pulisciano and then from Brown at the second attempt, such efforts were somewhat half hearted. Chris Jay saved low down from Callum Martin, but with thirty minutes on the clock there was no sign of the deadlock being broken, Hall calmly heading a long ball back to Jay with Martin close on his heels. Brown’s left footed drive off Pulisciano’s free kick lacked the pace to cause any problems to the home defence, Danny Ashton scoring Tipton’s 39th minute opening goal from the penalty spot after Edgington had tripped Martin just inside the area. Blake was perfectly placed to turn Chris Waterhouse’s header behind for a corner, Tipton going in at half time with their noses in front after what had been a forgettable forty five minutes of football.
HT Tipton Town 1 v 0 Highgate United
If Gate’s first half performance was poor that after the break was even worse, Tipton taking a firm grip on a contest of which they were firmly in charge. Pemberton was first to the ball in a chase with Lynch outside the box, Shane Benjamin’s subsequent volley then sent flashing marginally wide of the keeper’s right hand post. Pemberton held on to Pulisciano’s free kick under Edgington’s challenge, Brown then high from the left hand side and Joe Adams’ close with a twenty yard free kick.
A second Adams’ free kick was headed out by Waterhouse and King won a rare but unpunished corner, but after seventy five minutes that was as good as it was to get for the visitors. Hall bravely blocked Andrew Dicken’s close range volley and Jordan Archer lifted a golden opportunity over the bar before Dicken forced the ball over the line in the dying minutes to complete the scoring, a deserved three points going to the Black Country outfit.
Highgate United: Jay Blake Pulisciano Robinson Hall ( c) King Lynch Jones Benjamin (Adams Joe 67) Edgington Brown Substitutes not used Rolfe Adams (Jordan)
Tipton Town: James Pemberton Luke Adams Conner Gater John Hill Chris Waterhouse ( c) Andrew Dicken Danny ashton Lee wherton Callum Martin Mike Perks Ben Hadley Substitutes : Paul Henley Chris Rabone Jordan Archer Robert Perks Mark Ganderton