Friday Oct 8, 2010
For a match report from the Academy's trip to Halifax, please click the title of this story.
The Lambs Academy took to the road for their first long trip of the season up to Halifax on Wednesday (7th October). With Halifax Town having already defeated Birmingham City and an impressive 10 - 0 demolition of Spalding United, Dale Belford was in no doubt of the challenge awaiting them. The Lambs also had to overcome their first experience of playing a competitive game on a 3G surface.
The first half an hour was one of adjustment as The Lambs got accustomed to the bounce and the speed at which the ball rolled across the surfaced. The Lambs fell foul of the tactics of Halifax on 31 minutes as they were drawn higher and higher up the field as the Halifax players were content to play the ball around across their back line to setup their signature move; a ball lofted over the top of the defence, between the full back and centre half. The Lambs were undone by a low driven cross into the box; the initial effort was blocked by Michael Bloore coming across to cover from left back, but the follow up effort from the Halifax Town striker was put into the net from 5 yards out, giving Louis Connor no chance to react.
Half time featured the first change of the game for The Lambs with Georgio Sneekes replaced with Aaron Daley as the coaching team sort to provide The Lambs with more pace in on the wings.
The second half, only a few minutes old saw The Lambs go 2 - 0 down as Luke Jones, playing his first game in the A team was dispossessed in Midfield. The academy lads were again the victims of not clearing the second ball as Louis Connor saved the initial effort only to see the rebound slotted home at his near post by the Halifax Town striker.
On 54 minutes Tamworth were almost back in the game as their comfort level on the surface grew. Troy Wallen chasing down a back pass to the keeper was able to jump in the way of the flight of the ball, and convert a bouncing ball into the net before the keeper and centre half could react. The goal was disallowed on the insistence of the lines man for a very questionable hand ball decision.
The Lambs did get back into the game on 68 minutes with the pressure beginning to mount on their opponents. A long throw by Harry White, flicked on by Alando Lewis was headed in by Troy Wallen from just outside the six yard box. With the tie now swinging to the South Staffs. lads Dale Belford brought on Ansu Lissa to provide some creativity in midfield and Rommel Downes upfront to add additional power to the line up.
Both players quickly made an impact with Ansu helping Danny Hall to take control of the midfield; and Rommel Downes power and trickery getting the better of a central half pairing hounded by Alando Lewis and Troy Wallen for the majority of the game. On 77 minutes Troy nearly had his second of the game following a Salmon like leap off a chipped in cross from Rommel Downes, that hit the post and rebounded kindly to an initially stranded Halifax defender.
A series of good saves and positive goalkeeping from Louis Connor kept the academy team in the game as they searched for the equaliser which came late in the tie. 5 minutes from the end Tamworth got their reward for the effort in the second half; a cross to the far post by Alando Lewis was controlled by Aaron Daley cutting in from the left wing. After turning inside the full back on to his favoured right foot, Aaron quickly dispatched his shot past the Halifax keeper, leaving the ball nestled in the far corner of the net.
The game finished 2-2 to leave the Lambs undefeated in both leagues so far, with Michael Bloore the stand out player, filling in at left back for the injured Hoshaine Gabbidon and proving his adaptability and willingness to work for the team.
The mood on the coach on the way back was lifted still further with Troy Wallen and Louis Connor signing forms for Atherstone Town FC 1st team, as the lads look to continue their development into non-league football out on loan; as they pursue their aims of playing for Tamworth FC at the pinnacle of the non-league pyramid.