Tipton Town
Tipton Sports Academy

Ground No. 79
Visited - Saturday 31st December 2005
Result - Tipton Town 1-1 Oadby Town
Competition - Midland Football Alliance
Attendance - 70

I’d been wanting to go to Tipton Town’s ground for quite a while, almost since the start of the season when I first really started to get interested in non-league football, so when the chance to see them in an early kick-off came up, I jumped at it and for the first time, set off to do two games in one day (Wolves vs Plymouth kicking off later). 

The journey down to the Tipton Sports Academy was fairly simple, with there being one bus journey from Wolverhampton, and then a short 5-minute walk to the ground from there. As the name suggests, the ground is part of a sports complex and is in fact an athletics stadium as opposed to a traditional style ground, so despite not being a great fan of athletics stadiums, I was fairly interested in seeing a more unusual venue to watch football at.

From the outside of the ground, you can see most of the site, which is in a small valley, with steep hills running up two sides of it. Entering through the turnstiles you come in on the side where the only structure is situated, which is a small, but modern stand containing 4 rows of seating and the changing rooms with a tunnel in its centre. There is hard standing on all of the other sides, however with the track in between the barriers and the pitch, there isn’t a very good view offered from elsewhere, especially as the dugouts unfortunately make it difficult to see a lot of the pitch if you choose to stand on that side.

After having taken some pictures, I soon found a seat, ready for the game to start, only as the players were coming out, for the sun to rise above the hill opposite, blinding most people in the stand! With this I set off for the other side, and spent most of the first half standing there with a number of other people who had made the same journey.

Having found a position, the game soon started, and unfortunately, the less said the better! Tipton dominated the early proceeding, creating several half chances only for the Oadby goalkeeper to comfortably keep the scores level on each occasion. By this time, with the sun having gone in, I’d gotten bored of standing on the far side, so decided to go back round to the stand, and had found a much better view just to the left of the halfway line. Almost as soon I had got round to the other side, Oadby won themselves a penalty, personally which I thought was quite harsh, with the Oadby striker Derek Sinclair making the most of a nothing challenge, but surprisingly there was few protests from the home players or supporters, so when James Miller hit a weak shot that was well saved, it seemed that justice had been done. With the scare over, it wasn’t long before Tipton were back on the attack again, and after having forced a number of corners, a headed effort was handled on the line resulting in a penalty of their own. There was however some confusion, with the referee not having given it initially, but the linesman on the near side alerted him to the offence, which resulted in Oadby defender Ross Blockley being dismissed. Ashley Langford converted the spot kick, and with little time left on the clock, the half soon ended with the home side winning 1-0.   
In the second half, it was much the same, with Tipton having most of the possession, but failing to do almost anything entertaining with it, and so they only had themselves to blame when with an hour gone, Oadby made a quick counter attack from a corner, and after a crucial slip by a Tipton defender, Dominic Brown had a free run on goal, easily slotting home past goalkeeper Danny Watson. It was the only real moment of excitement in the second half, and despite a late flurry from Tipton, it was almost a relief when the referee blew his whistle to end what was quite an awful game.

The attendance had officially been announced as 70, although it looked somewhat short of that, however with most of the fans situated in the stand (or standing next to it), the ground didn’t seem quite as empty as it might have done. The large hills on two sides, and buildings behind the other end, gave it quite an enclosed feel for an athletics stadium, and all in all it wasn’t too bad a place to watch football from.

Overall, it was quite a good trip, the match aside it was certainly interesting to see a venue that is different to most, and the modern facilities were a nice touch to see. The game I went on to afterwards was unfortunately yet another dire 1-1 draw, so of the 180 minutes of football that I’d seen on the final day of the year, sadly there had been very few highlights to mention afterwards, however with that said, the Tipton Sports Academy is somewhere that no doubt I’ll find myself back at sometime in the future.

Welcome to Tipton Sports Academy

The Turnstiles

Rear of the Dave Edwards Stand

Rear of the Dave Edwards Stand

The Near End

The Far Side

The Far End

The Dave Edwards Stand

View from the Far End

View from the Far Side


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