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1st Team - Match centre

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Tue 19 Jul 19:30 - Friendly Full time



Tividale Turn Tables As Montpellier Flounder In the Heat…

Montpellier FC 1-3 Tividale FC

The far pitch in Lane was used for this match due to the re-seeding of the main pitch but how the non-playing staff could have done with using the dugouts which are positioned beneath the trees over there… Unfortunately, no pegs could be found to fasten the goal-nets down until, strangely, a linesman appeared carrying some… Stuart Hendrie, carrying a thigh injury, was asked to start for the Orange and he suffered more physical pain than decent service during the encounter, although brother Lee was hard-working throughout the contest and in a difficult second-half for his team, came closest to scoring. Driven on by Lee Hendrie and skipper Trevor Edwards, Montpellier had held their own during the opening half and had led at the break through Chris Chamberlain’s goal. After the interval however, Tividale started well and kept up their endeavour and slick passing, often causing problems for the jittery home defence. In particular, Stourbridge loan player Lewis McPike was a threat to Orange left-back Chris Charles and netted an equaliser from a free-kick. Striker Matt Dukes netted a brace of opportunist goals for Tivi and really, Montpellier were done for by the hour mark.

Apologies for any mistaken identities in this report but it took some real effort on Stuart Hendrie’s part and that of Tividale manager Steve Fellows to scramble together names and numbers for me and I thank them…

Few chances were created during a slightly feisty first period and yet the match had exploded into life in the opening seconds with a disallowed effort by a combination of Dukes and his colleague wearing 15. A clipped pass from the left was turned goalwards by 15, as he catapulted through the air like a sloth falling from a tree and the ball bounced slowly against the left post. ‘Keeper Craig Johnson was all at sea but got in the way of Dukes’ rebound, which fell against 15 and rolled into the net off Jukes. There was a hand-ball, maybe, an offside maybe but the video clip is certainly worth watching if you are a Villa fan and need a smile.

Otherwise the Tivi chances were at a premium before the break: the number 16 fired too high, then a run by Luke Morris onto a Tom Hardman lob, which evaded Dukes and marker Nic Oakley as they jumped nearly caught out the Orange at the right post but the ball rolled wide and Johnson sustained an injury in falling at the forward’s feet. The replacement ‘keeper (Joe?) saved a low effort from 16, after he had gone walkabouts in the penalty-box but in truth, Montpellier didn’t exactly pelt the Tivi goal with shots either.

Stuart Hendrie’s two efforts lacked power, Edwards’ neat pass saw left-flanker Lewis Bishop play a one-two with Chamberlain and then found himself denied by the advancing Luke Kriskins’ legs at the near upright but apart from a weak Dom Oliver shot, Chamberlain’s two strikes were the other notables. His first effort, from Edwards’ stealthy play and Lee Hendrie’s accurate clipped pass saw a foot raised to control the ball but he failed to keep his shot down. At the interval, a linesman mentioned the incident but the referee said that he was watching two other players tussling at the time and didn’t spot the high foot. When Bishop rose and beat the taller Hardman in the air on the left-wing, Chamberlain fastened onto the ball and wrestled past the otherwise dependable Andre Edwards to curl a smart finish round Kriskins and just inside the right stick. 1-0 at the break but the second period began with Tivi really in the ascendancy and they would not relinquish their grip.

Tivi had been led by skipper Karl Gardner, who had been loud and noticeable throughout the first period; he had also been responsible for the ‘Quote of the Game’, when he bellowed these words: “NO SHORTS! I HATE F*****’ SHORTS…” He was referring to the small pitch and didn’t want the Orange ‘keeper to play short throws and kicks to colleagues… Brilliant.

Evidence of McPike’s trickery had already shown itself before he lined up to take a 22 yard free-kick from inside-left, following a foul on number 11, Darragh Bustin, I believe. The defensive wall lined up, McPike curled a low set-piece shot round it and the goalie was unable to prevent it from entering the right corner of the net.

Soon Tivi led and deservedly. Lee Dimock’s high cross from deep left saw Oakley and Charles struggling to deal with the flight, not for the first time in the game and somehow between them, bustin’ a gut, Bustin knocked the ball left for Dukes, unmarked by Justin Barnes, to shoot low and bobbling into the left corner of goal from 8 yards.

McPike cut inside from the right and the ‘keeper turned his near post shot for a corner but from this set-piece, Tivi made the game safe. Dukes left marker Connor Wright behind and his near post leaning header cannoned into goal off a defender. The above goals and the McPike shot apart, Tivi only went close again from a downward Matt Preston header, which was smothered by the goalie and from a 40 yard shot too high by Bustin, following a poor kick by the custodian. Montpellier crafted fewer opportunities, with Stuart Hendrie ailing and Chamberlain resting, despite the eager work of the replacement number 15 (Michael Shale?)

Shale saw a shot deflected, Lee Hendrie curled a free-kick well off target and clipped another effort wide during the latter stages but the hosts’ best move also involved a shot by the ex-Villa man. Edwards freed Chamberlain on the left, Shale allowed the ensuing pass to roll to Lee Hendrie but the midfielder’s measured low shot from a central position was well saved by Kriskins, diving left. And that was basically that…

Certainly, the hosts were shaky in defence, but they looked a little lacking in attack, where long balls fired at Stuart Hendrie were easy pickings for the taller Gardner. Lee Hendrie delighted with two or three moves in possession and innovative passes but in fairness, it was Tividale’s slick passing and quicker movement in the second period which was too much for Montpellier on such a hot evening and with some players unavailable. Lots of positive thoughts though for Tivi, for their season will pit them against Alvechurch and Coventry United, among others and they will need to be competitive. Craig Stevens was evident in midfield for the Dale, McPike exploited a weakness on the Orange left after the break and the wily Bustin combined well enough with Dukes, who could be a real handful for Midland Premier League defences.

Montpellier will doubtless rattle the other clubs in Division 3 and it will be interesting to monitor their progress. Trev Edwards, Lee Hendrie and Chris Chamberlain will worry teams at that level hugely and with the facilities coming on well, they should climb the Pyramid with some speed.

And I drove home to Shirley in shorts, despite the fact that Karl Gardner had banned them…

It’s what I do…


Craig Johnson, Connor Wright, Chris Charles, Trevor Edwards (Capt), Nic Oakley, Justin Barnes, Lee Hendrie, Dom Oliver, Stu Hendrie, Chris Chamberlain, Lewis Bishop, Harry Preece, Michael Shale, James Wilcock, ‘Josh’ (gk).

Luke Kriskins, Tom Hardman, Lee Dimmock, Karl Gardner (Capt), Andre Edwards, Craig Stevens, Kieran Smith, Darragh Bustin, Craig Tibbetts, Matt Dukes, Matt Webb, Luke Morris, Liam Morris, Matt Preston, Nathan Owen, Lewis McPike.

Anyone I have left out, I apologise sincerely to…

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