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Table toppers take the points

FT: Tamworth 1    2 Accrington Stanley

10 January 2006

Tamowrth entertained top of the table Accrington Stanley in a crunch Conference league clash with Mark Cooper urging the fans and players to put behind them, for the time being at least, thoughts of the Stoke City replay.

Disaster struck for The Lambs though when Michael Touhy made a glaring error in midfield and allowed Gary Roberts to burst down the left wing with just three minutes on the clock. Roberts' cross was deflty headed past Scott Bevan off his far post under pressure. (0-1)

On 9 minutes, Nick Wright's right footed drive from the right of the area forced a very good save out of Robert Eliot in the Accrington goal for a Lambs corner but the flag kick came to nothing.

Accrington's youthful and quick side made mincemeat of the Lambs defence on 12 minutes but Bevan was not troubled by Ian Craney's shot at goal which cleared the bar easily.

Wright made a mazy run through the heart of the visitiing defence on 16 but his ball accross the face of goal flashed through unhindered.

Tamworth survived a penalty claim on 19 when Craney was felled in the area with the ball whipping around in the wind.

Bevan made amends for not collecting the ball first time on 24 with a great close range stop midway in his area from Romauld Boco.

Jake Edwards forced Elliot into a one on one save on the edge of his area on 28. As Edwards advanced on the visitng custodian the ball went just too long for The Lambs leading scorer to push past Elliot and the danger was cleared.

Craney's long range drive on 30 made Bevan earn his keep with a full length stop at his near post after good work out of midfield by the league leaders.

Accrington tried a few pot shots from the edge of the area as the half continued, while Tamworth looked content to work hard and break from midfield when the chance arose.

And the chance came when Edwards was felled by Michael Welch on 39 for a Tamworth penalty which the on loan striker took and calmly slotted past Elliot for the equaliser. (1-1)

The visitors forced a sucession of corners towards the end of the first half and Bevan produced a number of top draw saves to deny Stanley the initiative before the break.

HT: 1-1

Both sides came out in the second half looking to take the lead from the off. Rickards tried his luck from long range and Craney fired a close range bullet header over Bevan's bar in the opening exchanges.

But it was Craney who found the back of the net, making it 2-1 to Accrington on 56 with a well struck 15 yard finish after the Lambs defence failed to clear the danger sufficiently.

Scott Stamps made a welcome to return to the field for the first time since 12th November, coming on for Jimmy Turner on 68 minutes.

Edwards chased a great ball through the middle of the 'Stanley defence on 70 minutes but the pass was just too strong and Elliot collected on edge of his area.

Boco tried a clever back heel on 73 from a good run into the Lambs area but Bevan was not going to be troubled as the ball had lost it's pace, and Eddie Anaclet forced a save by his near post from Ellliot on 74.

More Tamworth pressure, this time from Wright, forced Elliot into a flying clearance, fisting the ball clear from the on loan Birmingham youngster's pile driver from the right of the box.

Accrington almost made it three through Mullin on 85 minutes but his close range shot was charged down by Bevan and the ball ricocheted off the post and out for a corner.

And despite four minutes added time the Lambs could not find an equaliser as Accrington continued their reign at the top of the table.

Edwards, Rickards (Jackson 79)
Anaclet, Melton, Bampton, Wright
Turner (Stamps 68), Smith, Redmile, Touhy

Subs: Heggs, Storer, Gayle

Accrington Stanley:
Boco, Mullin
Roberts (Mangan 85), Craney, Barry, Cavanagh (Brown 77)
Richardson, Welch, Williams, Edwards

Subs: Alcock, Tretton, Ventre

Yellow Cards: Bampton 23, Richardson 75
Red Cards: none

Goals: Mullin 3, Edwards 39 pen, Craney 56

Att: 1094
MOM as chosen by match sponsors BT Felton and Son, Contractors: Nick Wright

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