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Mettam secures a point

FT: Chorley 1    1 Tamworth

30 January 2016

On the back of the 5-3 away win at Stalybridge, Andy Morrell took his squad to Victory Park with the 6-0 drubbing suffered at the expense of the home side last season still fresh in the minds of everyone associated with the club.
In fact, the odds were not great on past performances between the two sides as The Lambs had never beaten Chorley in their six encounters over the years and there was one player on the Chorley side that had once featured for Tamworth – Andrew Teague, who played just 2 games in the 2007-08 season.

Morrell made one change to the side that started seven days previously. New loan signing Brandon Fox, from the Leicester City youth set up was available to play but took the place on the bench vacated by Jed Davies who came into the starting eleven for in the injured Paul Green.

On a muddy pitch that had seen a brief flurry of snow an hour before kick off, and the home side got the game underway and quickly exerted pressure on Belshaw’s goal. Durrell’s ball across the face of goal in the second minute went untouched past the far post, and at the other end, Preston blocked Stephenson’s shot for a corner which was punched out by the keeper and deflected behind for a flag kick on the other side.
Lynch’s right wing cross was headed behind by Tomassen on 8 but The Lambs pushed forward from the flag kick.
A Durrell freekick was headed away and cleared on 10 and Strong took a blow to the face leaving The Lambs a man short for a few minutes as he received treatment to his bloody nose.
Clarke fed Newton with a ball through the left channel on 20 and he hit a hopeful shot at Ashton which the keeper fumbled but recovered before the striker could get to it.
The pitch continued to be a great leveller and it didn’t allow either side to put together any passing moves on the ground, so the ball spent a lot of time bypassing the grass and mud beneath it.
Durrell put in a burst of speed to beat his man on the right of the box on the half hour and force a corner which came to nothing.
A freekick was awarded to Chorley on the left channel on 34 and it was struck by Bond but punched away by Belshaw as Connerton, who followed his challenge through on Belshaw picked up a yellow for his efforts.
Stephenson beat the offside trap on 37 but was denied by the feet of Belshaw who then fumbled the ball a couple of times as the cold and wet conditions did their best to show him up.
One minute added time was played at the end of the first half as a Chorley freekick was turned into an attack but nothing came of the half chance.

HT: Chorley 0    0 Tamworth

Tamworth restarted proceedings and had to take the heat for the opening 5 minutes of the second half as Chorley pushed forwards.
Tomassen put the ball behind for a Chorley corner on the left on 54 and the holme side continued to press, but when Newton picked the ball up on the half way line on 58 he advanced on goal and nearly slotted it past Ashton, but the keeper was well positioned to drop low to his left and deny him.
Stephenson somehow missed his chance to open the scoring from a yard out on the hour when a left wing cross went under his striking foot and was cleared away.
Chorley’s Bond and Lynch got a bite each of the cherry on the right of the box on 63 but both times the Lambs defence were well positioned to block them.
Another home corner came on 66 and when Burns booted the ball away after it had been flagged as going out of play on for a throw in he was shown a yellow card.
A floated cross from Newton on 74 went too long and summed up the afternoon’s football so far. Morrell made double substitution on 76 bringing Dyer and Mettam on for Davies and Newton.
But it was the home side who hit the back of the net on 79 when Stephen ran through, forced Belshaw into a blocking save and mopped up the rebound (0-1, 79 mins)
Fox came on for Taylor on 83 and Strong's ball into the box found Clarke on 87 but his sliding shot came back off the bar and from the resulting play a corner was won on the left which Mettam headed home off the far post. (1-1, 87)
Into the three minutes added time Cottrell tried his luck but curled a shot well wide and despite some late pressure from the home side both sides shared the spoils.

Tamworth Team:

Belshaw, Burns, Taylor (Fox 83), Deeney, Tomassen, Preston, Durrell, Clarke, Newton (Dyer 76), Davies (Mettam 76), Strong

Subs: Smith, Heaton

Chorley Team:

Ashton, Ross, Teague, Beesley, Rosco, Cottrell, Jarvis (Charnock 67), Lynch, Connerton, Bond, Stephenson

Subs: Bailey, Field, Goulding, Correia

Attendance: 0

Referee: Mr S. Hudson

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