Tideswell share the spoils at title rivals

TIDESWELL Utd made the trip to face last year’s main title rivals Dronfield Woodhouse. The spoils were shared on the day but that failed to tell the story of an unbelievable day for the Sawyeds.

A series of last minute incidents meant Utd landed in Dronfield with only ten fit players.

Despite everything stacked against them Utd started by far the better side as they laid siege to the Woodhouse goal, Danny Hopkins was proving to be the threat but it was Fraser Bloor who run the show for the opening exchanges.

Hopkins had the first sight of goal as his venomous drive cannoned back off the crossbar from 25 yards then Bloor hit a crisp volley destined for the top corner but an excellent save denied the lively midfielder. Paul Sullivan had a double chance but two good saves denied the front man. Utd did deservedly take the lead after as Mellor broke down the right; his cross was superbly cushioned down by target man Leaning for Hopkins who lashed the ball into the net from 18 yards.

Only seconds later Utd were dealt a huge blow as a cynical challenge on the instrumental Bloor saw him leave the field leaving Utd down to nine men.

On 20 minutes Woodhouse drew level with their first shot at goal. The nine men battled on and again took the lead ten minutes before the break, Lee Mellor found Paul Sullivan who finished emphatically. Half time came with Utd good for their lead.

The second half started with the home side pushing a tiring Utd back towards their own goal but John Stanway remained a spectator as Utd defended stoutly. Connor Johnson was more than equal to the battle for supremacy in the middle of the field but Hopkins was the out ball as his relentless running all afternoon gave the Utd back three a much needed rest.

With 15 left on the clock Stanway was eventually called into action with a stunning save low down to his right, but you sensed an equaliser was coming as the nine men of Tideswell were getting very tired and with ten minutes to play it arrived with a good finish beyond Stanway to break the resilient Utd hearts. To the visitors credit they attacked again and when Hopkins was brought down in the box, the decision was deemed to be on the edge of the area, Baker smashed the resulting free kick over the crossbar. Woodhouse threw everything at Utd in the closing stages but Robinson, Baker and Muir stood firm and as the final whistle went Utd were delighted with their days work and against all the odds took a point back home which sees them climb to fourth in the table.