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Two goal comeback brings a point against ten

FT: Tamworth 2    2 Kettering Town

18 November 2011

In the middle of their Hinckley related FA Cup exploits The Lambs tried a rare Friday night appearance in a bid to attract the crowds and welcomed Kettering Town to The Lamb in the process.

Tamworth boss Marcus Law made four changes to the starting eleven that played against The Knitters in the cup, with Jay Smith and Ashley Cain not featuring (see separate story about the loan deal) while Iyseden Christie and Patrick Kanyuka took places on the bench. In their places Danny Mills, Liam McDonald, Dan Bradley and Nabil Sharriff came in.

The Lambs went into the game with the third best defensive record in the league, compared to The Poppies having the third worst...

After a floodlight related delay, the game kicked off approx. 15 minutes late with Hinckley's boss Dean Thomas and ex Lambs and Poppy manager Mark Cooper both in attendance.

Tamworth started proceedings kicking towards the Castle End but after 90 seconds the visitors took the lead after Sangare's run down the right fell to Meecham and his shot was blocked by Hedge, but Ashikodi followed up from close range (0-1, 2 mins)
It was almost 2-0 on 4 mins when Bridges made and found space on the edge of the area but fired just wide of the right hand upright.
Tamworth had the ball in Kettering's box shortly after but couldn't take advantage of the chance, then on 10 Thomas threaded his way into the box but couldn't squeeze the ball past keeper Walker who dropped to the floor and smothered the shot.
On 16 minutes, Marna stole in at the far post to finish a cross box pull back after Meecham ran through the back four, drew Hedge out and when the keeper failed to prevent him putting the ball back into the danger area Marna slammed it home. (0-2, 16 mins)
Patterson headed over the bar from a central position in the move from the kick off, which saw Mills put a pin point ball in the box and deserved a finish.
Thomas put a deep cross onto the head of Mills on 20 but keeper Walker was equal to the chance and then from the opposite side Mills looked for Patterson with a lower, cheekier cross which was knocked out of the way of the incoming striker by the Poppies defence.
A late challende by Verma on McDonald in the left channel of the Kettering half earned the player a talking to and from the freekick Francis' header fell to McDonald whose shot went out for a corner.
Walker punched the flag kick clear and Marna advanced into the box but put his shot into the side netting from the left of the area.
Mills was upended by Ifil on the right wing on 28 and it earned the opposition defender a booking. The freekick was pushed out by Kettering but only as far as Bradley who struck a right footed effort wide of the right hand post from distance.
A deep Tamworth cross from the left wing looked to be going straight out for a goalkick on the far side but it was put behind for a corner and eventually the ball came back in for Tait to head goalward. But once again Walker was equal to the chance.
Walker lashed out at Mills on 39 with a boot when the ball went high into the box and earned the keeper a sending off and Tamworth a penalty. Keeper Haxia came off the bench and Patterson stepped up to fire home and reduce the arrears (1-2, 41 mins)
Koo-Boothe picked up a silly booking following a decision going his team's way which he appeared to protest ‘against', and then The Lambs almost committed suicide by backpassing a freekick to Hedge, when Hedge was not in position. Thankfully blushes were saved as the kick lacked power.
As four minutes added time was shown , Barrow sent a ball onto the head of Mills and his header down to the near post was fumbled away by Haxia.
As the seconds ticked down to the break, a corner was won from Barrow's deflected cross and Kettering survived a flap by Haxia shortly before the whistle blew.

HT: Tamworth 1    2 Kettering Town

The second half was kicked off by the visitors as The Lambs looked to make the Castle End net ripple and Bradley tried his luck on 47 but Haxia was equal to it.
Mills put a good ball into the box on 48 and Patterson got his head to it, forcing Haxia into a fine save, flicking the ball over the cross bar with one hand. Unfortunately, the corner was stopped as quick as it started when a foul was spotted by the referee.
McDonald struck the centre of the bar square on with a curling shot from an angle from the left of the box on 54 and the visiting defence cleared the danger that had beaten Haxia.
Scores were level though less than a minute later, when Mills ran onto a threaded pass and slotted home his first goal for Tamworth with a low rolling shot past the legs of Haxia into the far corner. (2-2, 55 mins)
Thomas's left wing cross almost saw the Lambs take the lead on the hour, but neither Mills nor Shariff could rise high enough to head the ball on target and in the same minute Shariff forced his way to the edge of the box but saw his low shot saved by the keeper.
Hedge was called into action for the first time in the second half on 64 when Bridges hit a snapshot from 8 yards and the keeper gathered it at the second attempt.
At the other end, Mills found himself in a similar position to that which brought his goal, but this time he dragged his shot wide.
After a double substitution by both sides, Bridges saw his close range shot saved the by feet of Hedge and the follow up was dragged wide of the mark.
A Barrow ball from the left on 74 was well defended and a corner was conceded. Haxia came and attempted to divert the ball as it came in but only succeeded in diverting onto his far post before it was cleared.
St. Aimie then fired across the box and out past the far post on 78 while at the other end on 81, Hedge leapt high to parry the ball away from danger before collecting it as it fell.
A corner was won on 87 from Thomas' dinked shot in the left of the penalty area which deflected wide and although nothing came of the flag kick, from the resultant throw Mills almost forced the ball past Haxia following a deft turn in the box.
Shouts for a penalty were denied after Christie fell under pressure as he entered the box from the D on 88 and four minutes added time was shown.
Both sides pushed forward as and when they could looking for a winner in the dying embers of the match, but both had to settle for a point a piece.

Tamworth Team:

Hedge, Tait, Francis, Mills, Thomas, McDonald, Patterson (Christie 68), Green, Bradley, Barrow (Habergham 82), Shariff (St, Aimie 68)
Substitutes: Collister, Kanyuka

Yellow Cards: Green 63

Kettering Town Team:

Walker, Sangare, Ifil, Ashikodi, Verma (Haxia 49), Marna, Kelly, Meecham, Bridges, Koo-Boothe, Navarro
Substitutes: Hughes-Mason, Dawkin, Swaubi, Deeney

Yellow Cards: Ifil 28, Koo-Boothe 43
Red Cards: Walker 39

Attendance: 1197

Man of the Match: Chosen by Wingate Associates: Danny Mills

Referee: Mr. N. Kinseley

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