Newton at the double for victory
12 November 2016
Back on the road again, Tamworth made the journey to the CNG Stadium on Wetherby Road to face an out of sorts Harrogate Town who, after going 16 games with only one defeat, had not recorded a victory in 5 outings.
After three top scalps in the league, The Lambs were looking to make it four wins out of four against the only other team in the league with a 3G pitch, laid by the same company during the close season that supplied the Gas Services Stadium with the artificial turf in the summer.
Boss Andy Morrell made no changes to the starting XI and welcomed Michael Wright onto the bench alongside fellow U21 player Aaron Opoku.
Former Lambs defender Simon Weaver’s Harrogate side got the game underway and went on the attack straight away pushing the Lambs back into their own half on the 3G surface which was a lot flatter than it had been but still maintained a definite slant from side to side and top to bottom.
And the home side had the brighter start for the opening ten minutes without really threatening.
On 10 Burrell brought down Mills on the left and the same player fired the free kick into the box but Crook caught it at head height.
Newton found space on the left on 12 and tried to cross for Dyer on the far side of the box but Crook was well positioned, while at the other end Chilaka span and saw his shot blocked from 8 yards.
Clee forced a right sided corner on 13 but a push on Jones halted play from the dead ball.
Colbeck hit a rising drive from the right which cleared the bar by a foot or two on 19 and then forced a corner on the right again which Leesley planted into the danger area and it was headed behind for another corner, this time on the left.
Belshaw pushed it clear and it fell to Burrell but his hook shot was off target and the Lambs keeper was able to slow things down a little.
Mills received Belshaw’s kick and forced a corner on the left on 20 which he took himself and swung it in but Crook took it at height.
Almost against the run of play on 29, a corner was awarded when Dyer tangled in the box and Mills floated it into the area.
Harrogate could only clear as far as Connor Taylor and he half volleyed the ball home over the watching defenders and past Crook (1-0, 29 mins)
Harrogate were level on 36 when Leesley prodded the ball into the box and Chilaka ran on, forcing Belshaw to hesitate and allowing Chilaka to slide in and poke it home (1-1, 36 mins)
A minute later Belshaw was forced into a spectacular save from Burrell’s powerful long range drive, then Dyer and Crook went for the same ball outside the home keeper’s area, which resulted in a clash and treatment for Crook.
Tamworth regained the lead on 42 when Dyer found himself perfectly positioned to head home from close range after Newton struck a powerful shot from 25 yards which Crook could only parry (2-1, 42 mins)
Two minutes added time were shown at the end of the first half and Harrogate forced a couple of corners, one from either side, the second of which was headed home by captain Simon Aigne (2-2, 45+2 mins) to leave it all square at the break.
Harrogate made a change at HT and Tamworth restarted proceedings kicking towards the clubhouse end of the ground.
On 48 Belshaw saved Morley’s blushes when the left back’s header went short and the keeper was forced to make a tackle to clear the danger outside the area.
A right sided freekick by Deeney on 52 was headed away and the home side broke but Leesley’s shot was blocked, as was Taylor’s at the other end when the Lambs attacking midfielder pushed into space in front of the Harrogate area on 54.
Town forced a left sided corner on 55 which Belshaw punched away, and Ainge’s header from the ball back in was way off target.
The keeper was forced to slide out and concede a corner when Lane’s pass back was short but Lane twice headed the danger away as the home side pressed.
Harrogate took the lead for the first time in the game on 56 when Burrell slammed the ball home from 8 yards after a diagonal knock back from Ainge past the far post (2-3, 56 mins)
Harrogate forced another corner on the hour and Ainge glanced his header a few feet wide of the mark, then on 62 Burns threw himself in the way of Leesley’s powerful shot, but shouts of handball were waved away by the referee.
Tamworth had a chance from a left sided flag kick on 64 which Mills put in to the danger area and it fell to Newton but his shot was tipped over the bar by Crook and when the corner came in Jones’ header was off target.
Briscoe replaced Dyer on 67 and took a top role alongside Newton and on 77 Opoku replaced Taylor.
Belshaw left his area to head the ball away with Chilaka bearing down on 79.
Opoku and Briscoe combined down left on 80 but the home defence held strong to prevent the latter and then Colbeck forced Belshaw to protect his near post and concede a corner.
Mills looked for a penalty call on 84 but it would have been very harsh against the covering defender.
Morley’s shot was fumbled by the keeper and Newton followed up but was unable to force home an equaliser.
But Briscoe and Davies then combined down the left to tee up the ball for Newton to make it 3-3 with a low finish from 12 yards past Crook. (3-3, 86 mins)
Then Newton gave The Lambs the lead back after good work from Briscoe down the left set up the striker to finish in off the far post (4-3, 90 mins)
Five minutes added time were shown and Burrell struck low into the arms of a grateful Belshaw on 93. Harrogate continued to press for another equaliser but it wasn’t to be and The Lambs celebrated victory.
Belshaw (c.), Burns, Morley, Deeney, Jones, Lane, Mills, Clarke (Davies 83), Newton, Dyer (Briscoe 67), Taylor (Opoku 77)
Subs: Tomassen, Wright
Harrogate Town Team:
Crook, Colbeck (Pittman 82), Parker (Turner HT), Thirlwell, Ainge (c.), Shiels, Brooksby, Burrell, Chilaka, Clee (Emmett 73), Leesley
Subs: Thanoj, Knowles
Referee: Mr B. Khatib