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Mills' bicentennial celebrations at Trinity

FT: Gainsborough Trinity 0    1 Tamworth

24 February 2009

Boss Gary Mills took charge for the 200th time away at Northholme home of Gainsborough Trinity looking to for his squad to add another three points to those won on Saturday and welcomed back Alex Rodman to the starting eleven after injury, while Bradley Pritchard moved off the bench back to his ‘usual’ place. Illness to Chris Smith and Dominic Langdon ruled them out of the selection process with Matt Birley the other change to the side that had defeated Workington at the weekend.

Gainsborough got the game underway but The Lambs soon gained possession surging forward until Nick Wright burst in the area to steal the ball off the keeper only to be flagged offside. He did a similar thing shortly after from a poor defensive header but the loose ball was cleared.
Sheldon won a corner on 7 which came to nothing and the sandy pitch had a part to play in Rodman losing his footing in the area as he tried to control a high ball from Shaw over the defence.
With Southport and Telford both embroiled in their FA Trophy replay The Lambs were showing that they were more than up for a game chasing most things down and working hard at the back.
However, Gainsborough had the ball in the net on 11 only for it to be ruled out for a foul in the build up which didn’t get too many complaints from Luke Beckett or Ashley Burberry who were involved in the move.
Alcock slid out to shield the ball from the in coming Chris Hall and took a knock on 13 which brought Chris Leary onto the field to the first time after McAughtrie been unable to prevent the home side from moving the ball past the half way line to start the move.
A foul on Shaw as he tried to break through in the final third set up Sheldon with a freekick 30 yards out in a central position on 17 and Adam Sollitt pushed the strike out for a corner on the right. Rodman got his head to it, but Trinity cleared and brok. McAughtrie cleared Beckett’s left wing cross with a header but the home side kept working until Rodman cleared long.
Beckett then unleashed a powerful long range effort from the left which Alcock tipped over the bar superbly, one handed, and Reid cleared the Neil Spafford’s goal bound header off the line from the corner.
(20 minutes gone and the game is so fast paced that the press bench barely have chance to look at what they’re writing!)
24 gone and Hall hit a curling effort from fully 30 yards which was never going in, but Alcock dived full length to make sure and watch the ball hit the hoardings a few feet to his right behind the goal.
Spafford felt the full brunt of Sheldon’s mid air challenge shortly after and needed a visit from his trainer in an otherwise clean but hard fought battle.
Rodman beat the offside trap by inches on 28 and sprinted through from just past the half way line but under pressure on the edge of the area he pushed the ball past the keeper but also the far post in the best Lambs chance so far.
A good move across the field saw Sheldon flash a shot high and wide from the edge of the area on the turn a minute later as Tamworth tried to turn the screw, but Gainsborough soon had a freekick of their own on the left which Alcock parried out for a corner off the head of Beckett and Hall hit a low drive from 20 yards right footed through the crowd in the box when the ball came out from the flag kick but missed the target by inches.
Foster recovered and saved Wylde’s blushes when he lost out to Hall on the half way on 34. The Gainsborough player ran forward, squared into the box and Foster was just quick enough to nip it away from danger as Beckett tried to turn on the loose ball.
Ryan Mallon hit an almost perfect ball curling low into the box and path of the incoming Beckett on 36 but Alcock spotted the danger and smothered the pass.
Then at the other end Sheldon saw the ball late but got a boot to a Shaw freekick and ultimately missed the target as the pace showed no sign of letting up.
A foul on Pritchard set Shaw with a freekick chance on 41 which McAughtrie headed at the far post and Wright found his route blocked at the near post from the nod forward and Wright was set through by Rodman as the Lambs pushed forward when Gainsborough failed to clear. He managed to round the keeper and get a shot from a very tight angle at goal but it was cleared off the line by Matt Austin.
Shaw hit a blistering effort at goal on 44 only to see it beat the keeper but not Ross Greenwood who again cleared the ball off the line.
Drury brought down Pritchard and picked up a booking whilst also giving The Lambs another freekick, this time on the right corner of the area in added time. Shaw fired it in and the ball pinballed around the area before finally being cleared by the home side as the whistle blew.

HT: Gainsborough Trinity 0    0 Tamworth

The Lambs kicked off the second period and there was no indication that the pace would let up as both sides had moves towards goal inside the first minute.
Reid escaped a booking for a foul in the middle of the park on 53 and Burbeary, whose blond hair matches that of Rodman’s tried to set up a team mate, but wasted the chance.
A jinking run but loss of possession trying to get the ball away from inside his own area by Reid set up Burbeary with a shot from the edge of the area on 58 and thankfully for The Lambs he curled his effort over the bar.
Just past the hour mark and the pace is just as furious, but passes and constructive play are letting both sides down in the final third as both defences do all they can to clear the danger quickly.
McAughtrie was sent forward for a Lambs freekick on the right which Shaw looked to plant on the ‘big man’s’ head, but it was just too long and Tamworth had to settle for a throw on the other side which was hoofed upfield by the home side.
Wright then Shaw tried to break through the Trinity back line with chip’s into the danger area on 67 but both times Gainsborough cleared with a last ditch boot, the second time with Sheldon and his marker almost glued together 6 yards out.
Reid did get a booking for a sliding two footed challenge that didn’t connect and although the referee let it go initially he called Reid back at the next break in play – which was a Lambs substitution – Sheridan replacing Wright on 69.
On 71 Austin caught the Lambs defence napping and latched onto a chip in to the area before blasting his shot high over the bar when he perhaps could have done better.
But it was The Lambs that took the lead on 72 – Bradley Pritchard slotting the ball home after a defence splitting pass from Shaw set him free on the left of the area to rifle home the shot into the net. (1-0, 72 mins)
Following the goal and a couple of Gainsborough substitutions The Lambs re-jigged to 4-5-1 with Sheldon alone up front which added more obstacles for the home team to get through if they were to find a way back into the game.
Inside the final five minutes The Lambs were forced to work hard to try and clear the ball before Trinity put the ball out to allow Alcock some time to take a goal kick but the home side were soon back in the final third again but wasted their possession again.
Sheridan, with orders to take the ball to the corners hit a wayward pass looking for Sheldon into the heart of the Gainsborough defence for Sollitt to collect as added time drew near but a corner eventually came of it and Tamworth held possession for as long as they could trying to run the clock down.
McAughtrie hoofed a couple of hopeful but potentially dangerous balls clear as two minutes added time was shown (90 seconds into the added time period) and a foul on Rodman let Sheridan run the ball out for a throw by the corner flag and the final whistle blew on a hard worked three points.

Tamworth Team:
Alcock, Lyttle, Reid, Wylde, McAughrie, Foster, Wright (Sheridan 69), Shaw, Sheldon, Rodman, Pritchard
Subs: Burgess, Birley, Nicholson, Lea

Gainsborough Trinity Team:
Sollitt, Greenwood, Drury, Spafford, Lukic, Anson (Bradley 74), Mallon, Austin (Needham 74), Beckett, Burberry, Hall
Subs: Wilson, Cullingworth, Marrison

Attendance: 317

Referee: Mr. Chris Akers (Doncaster)

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