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Lambs strike gold with Olympic victory

FT: Tamworth 2    1 Rushall Olympic

02 November 2019

The second placed Lambs welcomed the sixth placed Pics to the CR MOT Community Stadium for the 13th Southern League Premier Central fixture of the season. After the midweek victory over Birmingham City in the Birmingham Senior Cup, Gary Smith and Andrew Danylyszyn made a number of changes to the starting eleven as The Lambs looked to hit the top spot depending on how Hednesford Town, currently leading the pack on goal difference, got on.

Rushall, with former Lambs Liam McDonald in charge and Lee Smith in defence, got the game underway with Tamworth attacking the Meadow Street End in the first half.
Shortly after Hednesford took the lead at Barwell, Yafai had the first chance for The Lambs on 8 when he found space in front of the box and drove his low shot at Flatt in the visitors goal.
On 12 O’Callaghan struck from distance and forced Singh to protect his goal at the far post. From the corner a foul halted play from the far post header.
As the heavens (re)opened, Fry hit a right footed shot from distance after good work from Waite, Creaney and Hoenes to get the ball down the field.
On 19 Beswick slotted the ball past Flatt after a move into the final third which ended with Hoenes and Creaney combining to pull the ball back into the box for the captain to make his mark (1-0, 19 mins)
However, the visitors got back on level terms on 25 when, after a period of slow play Rushall pushed forwards and Letford received a Smith cross found himself on the edge of the 6 yards box with two defenders and Singh in front of him, but somehow managed to thread a low strike into the far corner (1-1, 25 mins)
On 34 The Lambs were back in front again. Hoenes went to take a bouncing ball in the box and flicked it away from the incoming defender, who in turn bundled him down to the ground.
The referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot and Beswick fired home his 2nd of the game and 9th of the season, this one from the penalty spot. (2-1, 34 mins)
Forde was then unable to continue on 36 so Frances replaced him at right back. Rowley slammed a shot from the left of the box into the side netting on 38 and there was a brief stop in play no 40 when Beswick clashed heads with a Pics player in the centre circle and required treatment.
Waite was pushed off the ball by Rowley on the left wing on 43 and Beswick’s ball fell for Fry and then Wilder but neither could get a clean shot away.
As half time drew into view, Tamworth forced a corner on the left which Beswick placed in into the box but Rushall cleared and three minutes added time were shown as the rain continued to drive down on the two sides.

HT: Tamworth 2    1 Rushall Olympic

Tamworth restarted proceedings with the floodlights now definitely required and immediately went on the attack, pushing the Pics back into their own half in the opening exchanges.
Creaney went close but not close enough to a double struck shot from Wilder which whipped across the box on 52. Mitchell was booked for a block on Waite as The Lambs advanced to over the halfway line on 58 as The Lambs continued to look to add another to the tally.
Hoenes was tripped on the left on 62 and Beswick’s freekick was headed away although The Lambs remained in the final third of the field until the ball ran out for a goalkick.
Olympic sent a long ball into the box looking for the head of one of three at the far post on 66 but none of the Pics players could connect to it.
Waite drilled the ball across the box on 70 and Creaney was only a foot or two away from it.
Hoenes put the ball back in for Creaney who forced a corner with a deflected volley and from the flagkick Creaney headed over the bar.
Rushall forced a corner of their own from a long throw on 74 and Mitchell’s deadball was headed away by Frances.
Creaney struck a low shot with power on 77 and Flatt fumbles it behind for a corner which came to nothing.
A trip outside the Lambs box set up Rushall with a freekick on 80 which Flannagan struck well enough but it dropped onto the top of the net.
Waite found Creaney with lofted pass into the Rushall half on 88 and the striker did well to keep the Lambs in possession and in the Rushall half as the minutes ticked down.
Singh pulled off a great save in added time to deny a late equaliser and following pressure from a Rushall corner the final whistle blew.
And perhaps more importantly, with Hednesford and Barwell drawing, The Lambs took pole position in the league for the first time in a decade.

Tamworth Team:

Singh, Forde (Frances 36), Wilder, Beswick, Magunda, Rowe-Turner, Waite, Fry, Creaney, Yafai (Clement 92), Hoenes (Gough 81)
Unused: Obeng, Kaziboni

Rushall Olympic Team:

Flatt, Mendez-Jones, Smith (Sawyers 52), Mitchell, Clarke, Whittall, Pendley, O’Callghan (Lund 76), Rowley, Flanagan, Letford
Unused: Charlton, Steele, Waldron

YC: Clarke 58

Attendance: 636

Man of the Match: Brian Whitehouse chose Ryan Beswick

Referee: Mr. O. Mackey

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