10 man Trinity hold out for victory
22 March 2008
For the trip to Gainsborough Trinity on Easter Saturday, Gary Mills made just one change to the side that had drawn 3-3 with Worcester the previous Saturday with Alex Cisak returning in goal after injury had ruled him out for a couple of weeks although Dave Bampton sat out again.
Gainsborough sat six points and three additional games played above The Lambs in the league with Mills looking for maximum points once again from the trip to Lincolnshire.
The atmosphere at Northholme was extremely relaxed prior to kick off with both sets of fans mingling in the clubhouse and on the terraces but it was the travelling contingent that made their presence known first as the home side kicked off.
Inside the third minute a strong run from Gainsborough captain Danny Anson and pass to leading scorer Ryan Mallon forced Des Lyttle to concede corner and from it, Anson lifted a shot over the bar from 6 yards.
Although the sunshine seemed welcome it was countered by a strong biting breeze, evident in it’s presence by the movement of the numerous Lambs flags.
A Gareth Sheldon freekick was cleared away as it dropped towards goal off Martin Foster’s head on 6 while at the other end a tame shout for a penalty after Alex Callery fell was waved away by Mr Greenwood.
An unintentional stamp on Foster’s left foot almost lifted the roof with the shout of pain on 9 but he quickly shook off the initial shock and continued to be busy in the midfield.
A foul on Sheridan brought a booking for Martin Drury on 10 and Lyttle sent the freekick teasingly into the box. Adam Sollitt missed his catch and although Sheldon tried to chip the ball to the far post it went out of play.
An excellent through ball to Nick Wright from Marrison on 13 almost opened the scoring but his shot was diverted inches past the far up right for a corner which Sheldon curled in but past the opposite post and out.
Lewis McMahon then won a freekick on the right touchline on 15 which Craig McAughtrie headed clear only for Trinity to win a corner as they pushed forward again – which James Dudgeon headed over.
The game swung both ways like a steady pendulum with the home side perhaps showing more of a threat from dead balls and won a pair of corners on 21 – the second of which Cisak punched clear only for another flag kick to result which was called back for a foul on the Pole.
A poorly timed tackle by Marrison on Drury earned him a yellow card on 28 and treatment for the home defender as well as resounding boos from the home support, but it did appear unintentional.
Wright then burst into the box on 29 only to see the chance disappear as his chip goalward was hooked clear as Marrison followed in.
Anson unleashed a 30 yard drive at Cisak on 30 which The Lambs keeper had to parry out for a corner and from it Tamworth fell behind to Wes Parker’s bullet header which went in off the crossbar. (0-1)
Tamworth won a rare corner when Dominic Langdon’s cross into the area was flicked behind on 42 but the short corner was blocked and Sheridan had to try again. This time the ball eventually fell to Foster, who fired over the bar by a few feet from outside the box.
A minute to go before thee break McMahon tried a shot from the left of the area and went fairly close to extending the scoreline without causing Cisak to move before two minutes added time was shown.
A good move involving Lyttle and Sheridan almost produced an equaliser, but Ross Greenwood’s chest back to Sollitt from Sheridan’s low ball into the box was saved by the home keeper just in time.
Tamworth kicked off the second half into the sun and immediately pushed Trinity back into their own half but lacked end product.
Injury to goalscorer Parker forced a substitution on 50 and Tamworth pushed forward again but there was no spark in the final third and Gainsborough were able to stop the danger.
Wright brought a good save from Sollitt on 56 after a surging run into the area and on 57 Sheridan fed Marrison but his shot was always going wide of the mark under pressure from the last defender.
A freekick following a foul on Sheridan struck the far post after Wright’s flicked header and another dead ball came on 64 as Mills brought on Jonti Richter for Sheridan.
From the freekick the ball found its way out to the left wing and from the cross Wright was just a foot or so away from a header on goal.
Sollitt advanced out of his area on 71 and handled an attempted lob by Wright which earnt him a straight red card and without a keeper on the bench, Chris Hall had to go in goal. And he got a touch very quickly as Sheldon’s freekick went straight into his arms.
So with the man advantage and an inexperienced man between the posts Tamworth tried hard to get the ball towards goal but the home side were determined to keep the ball away from the danger area.
Richter tried his luck from the edge of the area on 82 only for Hall to drop and stop the ball from going in.
A dangerous right wing cross from Richter won a corner as Marrison was beaten to the ball in the six yard box but Nurse miss hit his shot and Langdon skewed his cross.
The introduction of Marcus Ebdon helped to liven up The Lambs and they won a corner which came to nothing and Trinity then enjoyed a short spell of possession - with Mallon going close after beating Trinity Lambs down the left wing and cut the ball back into the box.
Richter won a corner in added time but Wright’s header was easily saved by Hall and the makeshift keeper tipped a shot from the Richter over the bar as the game ended in defeat for The Lambs.
Solliitt, Greenwood, Drury, Parker (Pell 50), Dudgeon, Anson, Callery, Austin, Mallon, McMahon, Hall
Subs: Wood, Bird, Burley, Jackson
Cisak, Lyttle, Langdon, Briscoe, McAughtrie, Foster, Sheridan (Richter 64), Nurse, Marrison (Ebdon 84), Wright, Sheldon
Subs: Smith, Jackson, Law
Referee: A. Greenwood (York)
Yellow Cards: Drury 10, Anson 60, Mallon 64, McMahon 66, Nurse 66
Red Cards: Sollitt 70