10 men Lambs fall to Grecians
29 October 2005
Tamworth came into the game with Matt Redmile injured, ‘keeper James Dormand out for the long term with a knee injury and Jake Edwards, on loan to The Lambs from The Grecians, unable to play. So Cooper had moved quickly to bring in League One custodian Scott Bevan from Milton Keynes Dons.
The starting eleven had three changes from Saturday’s FA Cup victory over Altrincham and while the fans are definitely looking to next Saturday’s 1st Round Cup tie against Bournemouth, there were three points to be won at a wet and windy St. James Park.
Tris Whitman produced the first splash of inspiration in an otherwise uninspiring opening 10 minutes, with a right footed effort which whipped across the face of Paul Jones’ goal mouth but went harmlessly out. And Lee Phillips fancied a punt with a right foot volley from 25 yards but the ball went well wide of Bevan’s upright.
Aaron Brown flashed a free kick wide from 20 yards a few minutes later as The Lambs usual tactic of ‘frustrate and see’ were evident against the side placed third in the league.
Tamworth continued to frustrate the home side’s attempted forays towards the half hour mark as The Grecians seemed to be more comfortable with the damp conditions but Aaron Brown dealt well with a Jon Challinor cross from a Billy Jones through ball that spliced the Lambs defence apart.
Exeter continued to press with out result until Jon Challinor hit the post for Exeter on 34 minutes following a good run into the heart of the Lambs defence from the right. Ex Lamb Tony Scully provided the initial ball to Challinor which beat the dive of Bevan but struck the inside of the foot of the post and bounced away to safety.
Carl Heggs set up Tris Whitman with a golden opportunity on 37 following a long ball from Bevan but Whitman wasted his chance by putting the ball the just wide of the post with the whole goal at his mercy and the ‘keeper seemingly easy to beat.
The with just second remaining at the endo the first half, Lee Phillips scored the opening goal from open play for Exeter City on 44. Bevan initially stopped the shot on his line after a good move involving debutant Woodard and Scully on the right but the ball fell free and Phillips fired home through a crowded box.
Exeter pressed The Lambs from the start of the second half and Bevan had to produce a great blocking save from 20 yards when Phillips unleashed an 18 yard volley. And Scully made space to run and shoot from 18 yards on the right two minutes later, after leaving Scott Stamps for dead, but his rising shot went wide of Bevan’s far post.
With no proven goalscorer on the park for Tamworth questions were being asked as to how the Lambs would get back in to the game, but Brown headed a Graham Ward freekick over the bar and Trevor Robinson hit the side netting with a cross come shot on the left.
An Exeter freekick saw Farrell’s header from Billy Jones ball well saved by Bevan on 62 and not to help matters Adie Smith was sent off for a second bookable offence following a rash tackle on Jon Challinor reducing the Lambs to ten men on 64.
With the odds now against them Tamworth fell further behind on 68 minutes. Challinor unleashed a low drive from the right of the area which came back off the post with Bevan at full stretch and the ball span out for Craig Farrell to slide in and finish from close range to double the home side’s lead.
Sub Nathan Jackson volleyed tamely at ‘keeper Paul Jones and Robinson forced a corner on 75 after seeing his shot blocked Santos Gaia but with the one man deficit and the two goal disadvantage it would take more than a flash of inspiration to get anything out of the game although The Lambs did their best to have a go at the home side and worked hard to keep the ball in their opponents half.
Scully did well to set up Farrell on 84 with another incisive run down the right wing, but the home striker turned in the area and dragged his shot wide of the far post.
The Grecians finished the game off with a third goal right at the death from Farrell who pounced on the lose ball after Challinor had hit the cross bar with a close range shot from a corner and the Lambs made the journey back up to M5 to the Midlands empty handed, but looking ahead to their second seaside trip of the week next Saturday.
Heggs (Jackson 53), Whitman
Robinson, Ward, Storer, Turner (Francis 61)
Stamps, Brown, Smith, Bampton
Unused: Gayle, Cooper, Touhy
Farrell, Phillips (Mackie 84)
Challinor, Cronin, Taylor, Scully
Jones (Billy), Sawyer, Gaia, Woodards (Buckle 76)
Unused: Todd, Flack
Goals: Phillips 44, Farrell 68, 90
Smith 23, Brown 45
Smith 64 (second yellow)
Lambs man of the match: Dave Bampton