First - Report
TIVIDALE DEFEATED IN LAST GASP DRAMA
Tividale put their supporters through a full range of emotions last night at The Beeches when they somehow managed to turn victory into defeat.
The home side got off to the worst possible start when Westfields central defender Scott Jackson was allowed to head home a free kick unchallenged from close range in the third minute to give the visitors the lead. Two minutes later they almost double their advantage when the excellent Craig Jones shot just over the bar from eighteen yards. The new Tividale defensive pairing of the returning Andy Parsons and John Hill were taking time to settle down, but it was goalkeeper Tim Beech who almost presented the visitors their second goal, after he lost the ball when he tried to dribble clear, to Richard Kear, who placed his effort just wide in the eight minute.
It took until the tenth minute for Tividale to muster their first serious effort on the Westfields goal when Kyle Hill’s close range shot hit goalkeeper Jon Pugh’s legs and was deflected for a corner, from which the ball fell to Ashley Edwards, who powered the ball home from fifteen yards. His goal lifted the home side and shortly afterwards Brett Clark hit a tremendous thirty yard shot straight down the throat of goalkeeper Pugh.
In the twenty fourth minute Tividale’s frailties were again exposed when full back Will Loughman was allowed to overlap around the back of the home side’s defence to beat Beech at his near post to restore the visitors lead. Westfields continued to look likely to increase their lead against a fragile looking Tividale defence and came close when Jamie Cuss shot wide from distance in the thirty first minute. Just two minutes later Beech had to save at point blank range from the lively McNeill, before Kyle Brady almost levelled the score close to half time with a tremendous low swerving drive that just went past Pugh’s far post with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Tividale began the second half in dominant style and almost equalised in the fiftieth minute when Kyle Brady forced a fine double close range save from Pugh, before heading the ball against the post following a fierce Kyle Hill shot that had hit the post and rebounded to him. The home side continued their dominance and both Kyle and man of the match Adam Hill brought fine saves from the busy Pugh in the Westfields goal. Indeed, it was Adam Hill who produced one of the moments of the match in the seventy seventh minute when he weaved his way past three Westfields defenders before hitting a tremendous volley just over the bar.
By this stage the visitors were being penned back more and more and Tividale finally made the breakthrough a minute later when the lively Kyle Brady headed home a free kick from close range to score a deserved equaliser. Both teams went in search of the winning goal and on two occasions the visitors almost breached the Tividale defence before Adam Hill almost beat goalkeeper Pugh with another superb effort in the eighty sixth minute. Two minutes later the Tividale midfield commander Adam Hill finally got the goal that he thoroughly deserved when he slotted the ball home from eight yards after he followed up when his cousin Kyle’s shot had been saved by Pugh.
For the first time Tividale had the lead, but just seconds later The Beeches was stunned when Aiden Thomas placed the ball past Tividale goalkeeper Tim Beech, after another bout of central defensive hesitancy to score an equalising goal. This goal knocked the confidence out of the Tividale team and gave new heart to the visitors who poured forward and from a free kick Craig Jones rose unchallenged to head the winning goal for the Herefordshire team deep into injury time.
It was an unbelievable final twist to an absorbing match, played out in front of a sizable crowd, the majority of whom had seen had seen the Jekyll and Hyde sides of a young Tividale team that, despite losing this match at the death to a team of probable title contenders, can regroup and emerge the stronger from the experience.