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Briscoe's late goal is no consolation for Lambs

FT: Kettering Town 2    1 Tamworth

27 August 2007

After Saturday’s disappointing home reversal by Alfreton, Gary Mills’ squad faced a massive test against league leaders Kettering Town unbeaten in the first four league games. Tony Thorpe sat out of the game along with Adie Smith, while Anthony Robinson sat on the bench, meaning a start up front for Carl Heggs and Matt Williams, which gave an unusual starting line up – the first wholesale change in three games. And an appearance by returning former Lamb Mark Turner in the back four, who had come through a reserve game the previous week, surprised a few of the Lambs supporters.

Kettering, under former Lambs manager Mark Cooper were enjoying an purple patch that by their own fans admission was taking everyone unawares, but the results was there to see and it would take a committed Lambs performance to leave Northamptonshire with all three points. Former Lambs Steve Burton and Tom Kemp featured for the Poppies starting eleven while Kevin Spencer and Mark Rawle took seats in the dugout.

The Bank Holiday sunshine, brought out the crowds with large travelling following and a long queue of home fans still waiting to get into the ground with a few minutes to kick off.

Tamworth started the game kicking towards their own fans and an early clash of heads left Gareth Sheldon requiring treatment after just one minute and got up two minutes later after a patch up job by physio Chris Leary.
Craig Westcarr got a left wing cross in on 7 after beating Turner for pace in the box, but Veiga collected easily.
On 10 Michael Briscoe blocked a Steve Burton effort on thee left of the area after Westcarr’s cross fell invitingly for the Poppies striker.
Kettering won the first corner of the game on 14 but it was headed clear by the Lambs defence and on 16 Westcarr but in another cross from the left which Veiga smothered at the feet of Burton.
A tame shot came shortly after from Matt Williams who barely troubled Lee Harper from distance and after a few minutes of pressure from the home side, Tamworth worked the ball forward ending with Mills firing a low shot from the edge of the area at Harper which he almost fumbled into his own net but recovered quickly.
A determined run from Burton forced another corner for the home side on 27 which came to nothing, but the home side looked slightly more likely to break through in an otherwise frustrating opening half hour for both sides.
Gareth Sheldon battles on

A challenge on Dave Bampton brought a welcome drinks break for both sides on 31 reflecting the hot conditions that were affecting both teams.
There were loud shouts for handball in the area on 32 when Brett Solkhon’s shot struck Briscoe square on but the referee waved play on.
Andy Hall wrong footed Turner on 35 and played the ball back in the danger area, but Burton was too far forward and there were no other Poppies players within sight of a good chance for the home side.
On 37, Westcarr whipped the ball in from the left looking for Burton, and the former Lambs man almost got enough of a touch to flick it into the far post but it flashed past the far upright. Shortly after a wayward defensive header dropped for Burton to try his luck on the volley but it was a quick chance to take and he miscued his shot.
Williams looped a ball over the home defence on 44 for Sheldon to run onto, but Harper was quickest to the chance and caught at height on the edge of the area.
A further flag kick came in first half stoppage time when Veiga fingertipped Tommy Jaczszun’s freekick wide and a minute or so later Westcarr unleashed an almighty shot from distance which went just wide and Veiga dived full length (without touching it) to make sure.

HT: 0-0

Bampton’s knock in the first half, meant that Kyle Storer came into midfield at the start of the second half.
Storer sent a great ball through for Sheldon on 48 and with just the keeper to beat he shot low but straight at Harper in the best chance of the game so far.
Then on 50, Westcarr forced the ball home past Veiga from close range after Burton’s centre from the right hand side of the penalty area. (0-1)
Heggs found himself with a great opportunity to get The Lambs back into the tie on 52, but Harper stole the ball off his toes as he went one on one in the area.
Mills tried to float the ball into the far corner on 56, but shot wide after a great build up with Storer staking a claim for a starting place and Heggs had a shot on 57 which Harper stopped from close range.
At the other end Joe Howe managed a header at Veiga and just short of the hour mark, Sheldon – visibly struggling – was replaced by Anthony Robinson.
Then on 61 David Bridges put the ball home at the second attempt after a good block by Veiga. Howe had crossed from the right which Andy Hall headed back into the area and Bridges was unmarked and doubled his sides tally. (0-2)
Poppies boss Mark Cooper made a double substitution on 66, bringing two sets of fresh legs into his attack and it almost paid off on 68 but Veiga denied Howe with a diving stop after good work from the two substitutes. And shortly after, Kevin Spencer came on to face his old side.
The linesman’s flag and the post denied Robinson a goal on 73 after an incisive ball through the heart of the home defence by Storer set him free and Hall missed a well worked chance set up by a couple of deft touches from midfield that cut the Lambs defence apart on 75.
A tough tackle on the edge of the area by Storer saw his name go in the book on 79, and on 80 Williams summed up the Lambs shooting with a very tame effort from inside the area.
A poor pass into no mans land from Mills allowed Hall a rasping drive at Veiga on 86 which he pushed out for a corner and a shout for a Kettering penalty was waved away on 88 but the home side won a corner from the challenge which came to nothing.
Landgon sets up Briscoe
In the final minute of normal time,Tamworth won a flag kick and Briscoe volleyed home Langdon’s header, from the edge of the area, to reduce the arrears (1-2) but it was too little too late for The Lambs.

FT: 1-2

Veiga, Lyttle, Langdon, Briscoe, Turner (Sheridan 64), Bains, Bampton (Storer HT), Mills, Heggs, Williams, Sheldon (Robinson 59)
Subs: Pedro, Taggart

Kettering Town:
Harper, Dempster (Spencer 70), Jaszczun, Graham, Kemp, Solkhon, Howe, Bridges, Burton (Rawle 66), Westcarr (Malcolm 66), Hall
Subs: Bussey, Caskey

Yellow Cards: Storer 79

Referee: Mr G. Law

Att: 1603 (169 TFC)

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