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Tai gets the Lambs a point at Nene Park tie.

FT: AFC Rushden and Diamonds 1    1 Tamworth

01 January 2007

With less than a week to go until the historic 3rd Round FA Cup tie at The Lamb, Mark Cooper’s squad made the short journey into Northamptonshire to take on fellow bottom four club Rushden and Diamonds- the club that they beat to earn them the cup tie a month ago.
Cooper made changes to the side that lost to Morecambe two days previously – Matt Williams came in for Taiwo Atieno, Kyle Storer replaced an injured Joe Kendrick and Jose Veiga took his place back between the sticks after his one game suspension.

The Lambs conceded a corner after just 16 seconds when Tom Kemp headed too strongly back to Veiga but the Lambs custodian collected the flag kick easily.
Simon Heslop and Steve Burton combined to spilt the Diamonds defence in two on 3 but Scott Tynan deflected Burtons shot over his bar for a Lambs corner.
A good move from the centre of the field released Michael Rankine on 9, who forced the ball across the face of the goal but Ryan Laight cleared with relative ease.
On 10, Matty Williams ‘scored’ after Darryl Taylor’s shot screwed off a defender but Williams was offside when he put the ball in the net and the ‘goal’ was ruled out.
Tamworth won a free kick on 20 on right about 20 yards from goal and Jon McGrath stepped up to strike left footed but the ball ricocheted off the wall.
At times The Lambs produced some good flowing, one touch football, but lacked the inspiration to complete the move and ultimately take the lead while on the other hand Rushden threatened down the right wing and from set pieces, none more so than on the half hour mark when Rankine powered a header from a corner straight at Veiga who caught easily.
Williams tried a shot on the turn from the edge of the area on 32, but his effort was always going off target
Another Diamonds corner by Marcus Kelly on 36 almost sneaked straight in at the far post but Kyle Storer was in the right place to head the ball of the line and out to safety.
The home side took the lead on 43 via Dave Savage who sidefooted home after more luck than judgement saw Tryone Berry cross from the right which was missed by Rankine in the centre and the ball ran through to Paul Watson on the opposite side of the field. Watson tried to drive the ball into the area but totally miscued his shot but saw it fall nicely for Savage who made no mistake from the edge of the area. (0-1)

HT: 0-1

A right wing cross by Lee Tomlin was met by the head of Rankine a minute into the second half and the home striker should have done better with his chance but put the ball high over Veiga’s crossbar.
Steve Burton smashed a right footed drive at Tynan shortly after and forced the home ‘keeper into a flying save to push the ball around the post but The Lambs couldn’t take the advantage from the corner.
Rusdhen won a freekick 25 yards dead centre on 49 but Veiga was equal to Watson’s right footed dead ball strike and Rankine showed again why he required closer attention from The Lambs by putting a dangerous ball in from the right shortly after.
An injury to Kelly meant that Simeon Jackson – the player who single handedly demolished Tamworth in the reverse fixture earlier in the season – came into the fray on 54.
Adie Smith had a shot charged own on 72 from inside the area and tried to follow up the rebound, but Tynan collected. Then on 74 Williams struck a 30 yard freekick into the wall and McGrath fired the rebound back at goal but the ball whistled past the post by a few feet.
McGrath tried to beat Tynan from 25 yards on the right of midfield on 69 but the Diamonds keeper tipped the ball around his righthand post and Storer’s corner was blocked for another flag kick which Tynan collected.
The Lambs continued to pressurize.
Tamworth forced themselves backing to the game after winning an throw on the right on 74. As the ball came into the box substitute Taiwo Atieno forced ball home with his first touch to equalize with his first goal since Oxford away, but got booked in the process of celebrating in front of the traveling support! (1-1)
Another Lambs corner came on 79 via McGrath but Burton couldn’t keep his volley down and cleared the crossbar from the back of the 6 yard box.
Berry and Rankine tried their luck from distance with 5 to go and McGrath’s freekick in the final minute cleared everyone.
Both sides are in desperate need of points and four minutes of added time almost allowed Jackson the chance of winning the tie for his side, but Veiga was equal to his advancing run and Berry shot high from the resulting corner to leave honours even at the final whistle.

Williams (Atieno 73), Burton
Storer McGrath, Heslop, Taylor (Stevenson 85)
Laight, Kemp, Weaver, Smith

Subs: Law, Cooper, Belford D

Rushden and Diamonds:

Rankine, Tomlin (Shaw 71),
Kelly (Jackson 54), Woodhouse, Savage, Berry
Watson, Ashton, Hope, Hatswell

Subs: Margarson (GK), Wilson, Sedgemore

Yellow Cards: Williams 34,Woodhouse 61, Atieno 74, Savage 89, Storer 90+,
Red Cards:

Att: 1872 (145 from TFC)

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