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Lambs complete pre-season unbeaten

FT: Tamworth 3    1 Birmingham City XI

05 August 2009Gary Mills made a couple of changes ot the side that defeated Solihull at the weekend as Birmingham City, featuring goalkeeper Colin Doyle and midfielder Lee Carsley amongst the XI, took to the field in the final pre-season game.

With league managers Alex McLeish, Chris Coleman and Paul Peschisolido all watching from the Directors box the players were most definitely on show in front of a bouyant crowd full of Lambs and Blues fans.

Wright made an early foray into the City box and on 5 he made space on the right wing and sent in a good cross but Doyle was more than equal to it.
A long ball to Rodman was well controlled by the Lambs forward but Joyce stole it from him and at the other end, Alcock was called into action for the first time in the game when a slip by Smith allowed Fataki to burst through widebut one on one. Alcock made himself look big as the striker tried to curl the ball into the far corner and pushed it away from danger.
Fataki failed to get the better of Tait in the left corner of the field on 9 as the left back and at the other end on 12 MacKenzie sent in a great ball to the centre from the left which Wright flicked past Doyle, but the far post got in the way and denied him an opening goal.
Trivia alert: Blues are all in black and the ref is wearing a white top not a rarity in the Premiership etc. But definitely a rarity downThe Lamb!
A long ball down the line looking for the run of Sheridan on 19 brought Doyle out of his area to clear the danger and he ventured out again on 22 to chest the ball back into his area before catching it.
MacKenzie and Preston went for the same ball on 23 and both players fell to the floor clutching their knees, MacKenzie was OK to continue but Preston had to be helped off to be replaced by Asante.
A jinking run by Pritchard was halted by a foul from Timmins which allowed Mackenzie the opportunity to strike the dead ball from 25 yards. It went straight into the wall but The Lambs soomed regained possession with Wright pushing the ball just too far on and Doyle collected.
Wright unleashed a right footed drive from the left of the area after losing his marker but the ball rose quickly just over the bar from the angle.
Tamworth were controlling the games when they had possession and taking the game to Blues at every opportunity and it paid off on 33 when Rodman recieved the ball in the area, turned his defender and fired low past Doyle from 10 yards (1-0, 33 mins)
On 36 Joyce crossed low from the left and it was met by Fataki who could only screw the ball wide of the mark and inn the next move, Pritchard repeated the feat with a shot past the left hand upright after good play from Wright down the right put the ball innto the danger area.
MacKenzie tried his luck from 30 yards but his effort flew over the woodwork
The Lambs made it 2-0 on 44 with Wright finishing a fine move which saw Shaw make his way into the box before squaring for the ex-Blues man who checked his marker and fired into the corner, and although Dolye did get his hand to it en-route he couldn’t stop it going in much to the delight of the home faithful.
In the final move of the half, Wylde found himself at the by line and pulled the ball back to Pritchard but his shot was taken by Doyle at his near post.

HT: Tamworth 2    0 Birmingham City XI

Tamworth kicked off the second period and went straight on the attack with Shaw hitting a 30 yard effort which Doyle was equal to.
Wright forced a corner with a deflected shot for the first flag kick of the game and Briscoe rose highest to make Doyle drop to his right and make a save on 50.
Lake-Gaskin who signed for The Lambs today came on for MacKenzie on 54 and the Blues won their first corner shortly after which was cleared by the same player who found Wright, with a burst of speed at the opposite end..
Wright was felled by Sammons and a quick freekick allowed Pritchard to fire a low shot just wide of the left post from fully 35 yards on 59.
More attacking play from Tamworth won a corner on 61 and only the offside flag denied Wright from Shaw’s ball over the top of the Blues defence.
New signing Anthony Bruce made his first appearance in a Lambs shirt on 62, coming on for Sheridan and five minutes later Nicholson and Benjamin came on for Wright and Pritchard.
Blues pulled one back through Jervis who fired low into the far corner from 18 yards in a rare attack from the visitors. (2-1, 71 mins)
Lundry recieved a stiff talking to from Mr. Stretton with 13 minutes to go following a foul and Tait stepped up looking for the head of Benjamin which he found but he was unable to get any purchase on the ball and Doyle collected easily.
Blues won a freekick on the left of the area on 79 and with the wall perfectly placed the ball went straight into Alcocks arms.
With 7 to go Birmingham won another flag kick but Alcock stretched to collect with relative ease.
At the other end it was a different matter as Rodman, recieving the ball from Nicholson cut back inside, beat a couple of defenders on the left and unleashed a right footed thunderbolt into the top right hand corner which brought the crowd to it’s feet in admiration for the strike which was thoroughly deserved. (3-1, 85 mins)
A deflected Nicholson shot won a corner on the right but nothing came of it and two minutes added time was shown.
Rodman made another run into the area in added time and pulled the ball back for Tait to try his luck and while he got the height right, the ball screwed wide of the right hand upright by just a few feet.

Tamworth Team:
Alcock, Tait, Wylde, Smith (Mills 87), Briscoe, MacKenzie (54 Lake-Gaskin), Wright (Benjamin 68), Shaw (Lyttle 76), Sheridan (Bruce 62), Rodman, Pritchard (Nicholson 68)
Subs: all used

Birmingham City XI Team:
Doyle, Joyce, Timmins, Carsley (Jervis HT), Preston (Bogle 26), Kerr (Packwood 75), Hubbins (McPike 52), Sammons, Fataki, Lundry, Hronec (Asante 70)
Subs: Krysiak

Attendance: 633

Man of the Match: Chosen by Pickerings Solicitors: Chris Smith

Referee: Mr. G. Stretton

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