10:17am Wednesday 9th April 2014
TIVIDALE boss Stuart Scriven has backed his players to overcome a gruelling fixture schedule as they continue their push for title glory.
Scriven has admitted his players are finding it difficult to regularly face three games a week as they look to get through their remaining matches of the season, but he is confident his squad will get over the finishing line.
They will again tackle another three games this week, ending with a vital home clash against second-placed Boldmere St Michaels.
He said: "It is not easy having to play so many games. I think we would be in a much stronger position if we didn't have to play every Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday. You can see that it is taking its toll on the players. I don't think I've ever know a team in the Midland Alliance have such a gruelling run-in. But that is where the squad comes into it and all the players called upon have shown their abilities and how capable they are."
Tivi continued their march towards title success by claiming a hard-fought home point against Coventry Sphinx at the Beeches last Saturday.
A late equaliser from Sam Williams kept them well on course for success.
The midfielder struck with just minutes left on the clock to earn his side a draw against a Coventry side that has caused Tivi plenty of problems this campaign. It is a point that could prove to be valuable as we enter the final weeks of the season.
Having knocked Tividale out of the FA Cup and FA Vale, Coventry posed a dangerous challenge to the home side's push for promotion.
It was a game that saw very few clear cut chances, with both sides limited to the occasional set piece and speculative effort.
A scrappy first half eventually saw Tivi settle the better of the two sides and force good saves from visiting keeper Jack Farthing.
However, after failing to break through, it was Coventry that broke the deadlock with their first real chance of the game.
Luke Williams beat home keeper Timothy Beech with a good strike from the edge of the area on 25 minutes. The goal seemed to set Tividale back slightly and they found it hard to keep the ball for the period that followed.
But they got back into their stride as the half time whistle approached and got a leveller when wide man Michael Wardle's cross-come-shot found its way in at the far post.
The second period carried on the same as the first, with both teams finding it hard to keep the ball long enough to apply any pressure. As a result, both outfits also found it hard to create any chances of note.
Coventry again struck with a rare move forward. A set-piece from the visitors was spilled by Beech before an attempted Tivi clearance hit a Coventry attacker and nestled in the net.
It was an unlucky passage of play for Tivi who then had to press forward as they looked for an equaliser.
They got it when a cross from advancing right back Andrew Parsons was turned in by midfielder Sam Williams as the clock approached full time.
A draw was a fair result in what proved to be a tense match of very few chances. It is also another point towards Tivi's promotion goal.
They were set to travel to take on Alvechurch last night before welcoming Continental Star to The Beeches on Thursday and Boldmere St Michael this Saturday.
Scriven added: "The Coventry draw could prove to be a good one, but it is important we now back that up with a win in the week. As difficult as all these games maybe, the squad rotation is working and we have had lots of success by shuffling the pack.
"We are also set to get a few players back from injury, including Matt Jukes and David Bellis, so I think we are still in a very strong position to get over the finishing line."
Tividale will now only in the hunt for two trophies this season after being thrown out of the Walsall Senior Cup after fielding an ineligible players in the last round against Walsall Wood.
"It is embarrassing from the club's point of view but going out could end up make the run-in a little easier for us. I wanted to win everything, but the main goal is to win the league," added Scriven.
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