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"Draw feels like a point" - Cooper

FT: Tamworth 1    1 Burton Albion

26 December 2005

Tamworth entertained local rivals Burton Albion at The Lamb with much more than Staffordshire pride at stake. Mark Cooper’s Lambs were in much need of a league win away from the spotlight of the FA Cup but his selection problems were not helped by the suspension of Matt Redmile and Adie Smith, the injury to Alan Neilsen (thigh) and an unfit Carl Motteram (ruled out by Birmingham City on Christmas Eve)

With just one win at home in the Conference all season Cooper was all too aware of the tough task ahead, but local derbies “can be a bit like cup ties with form going out of the window. They’re all about pride and desire and who wants it most” the boss commented in his programme notes.

Both sides started the Boxing Day clash in a lively fashion and in the 10th minute Jon Shaw’s header was headed away to safety by Dave Bampton for Burton’s second corner of the game. Sustained Brewers pressure forced another flag kick 2 minutes later with the makeshift Lambs backline doing just enough to quash their visitors attacks.
Shaw broke through to shoot at Scott Bevan on 13 and although the Lambs custodian appeared to tip the ball wide no flag kick was given.
Keith Gilroy then forced Bevan to tip over a free kick on 15 as Burton pressurised the home defence in the pouring rain.
Shaun Harrad almost opening the scoring on 19 but was foiled by the legs of Bevan and the Lambs defence mopped up the danger as the ball ran free.
A rare forward push produced a free kick opportunity for Graham Ward on 23 but the ball cannoned off the visiting defence for The Lambs first corner which came to nothing.
Andy Ducros was felled on the half hour mark 15 yards from goal allowing Gilroy to strike over the wall but the ball was collected easily by Bevan.
Dave Bampton almost headed over Bevan on 33 and from the resultant corner Jon Shaw glanced the header home (0-1).
But Tamworth responded immediately. Bursting out of midfield, Ward crossed from the right to the far post for Steve Metlon to place a header under Saul Deeney (1-1).

The second half commenced at the same pace the first half had finished and although Burton had looked on top in the opening 45 Tamworth came out with a more positive attitude and frustrated the visitors.
A flowing Tamworth move on 65 involving Eddie Anaclet, sub Nathan Jackson and Edwards down the left ultimately allowed Anaclet a shooting chance at Deeney, but the finish was tame and easy for the Brewers ‘keeper.
Shaw crossed from the right on 74 for Darren Stride and it took a goal line clearance from Michael Touhy and last ditch save by Bevan to deny his powerful header.
Jake Edwards rose well to head goalward from an 84th minute freekick but the ball skimmed wide and despite fierce attacking play and last ditch defending by both sides The Lambs and The Brewers had to settle for a point each.

Tamworth:
Heggs (Jackson 59), Edwards
Melton, Storer, Ward, Anaclet
Touhy, Bampton (Francis 71), Turner, McConnell
Bevan

Subs: Cooper, Dryden, Gayle

Burton Albion
Shaw, Harrad (Anderson 59)
Gilroy, Stride, Ducros, Hall
Corbett (Henshaw 28), Austin, Tinson, Sedgemore

Subs: Taylor, Todd, Ayres

Yellow Cards: Ward 17
Red Cards: none

Att: 2151

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