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A Little means a lot to The Lambs

FT: Redditch United 0    2 Tamworth

08 February 2020

After the two Chris Lait goals had ensured midweek victory over second from bottom Alvechurch, Tamworth made the similar short journey to The Valley Stadium to take on the red of Redditch on their own 3G surface.
It was 24 years since Lambs joint manager Gary Smith played at Redditch for Tamworth, having netted once in his four appearances against the Worcestershire club, in September 1995 in a 3-2 win under then boss Paul Hendrie, who himself had managed both clubs in his career.
Redditch occupied bottom of the league and came into the game having not recording a single league point or won a league game in 23 outings, since the first month of the season when they recorded 9 before spectacularly collapsing.
The lowest scorers and highest conceders welcomed the top of the table Lambs, with the meanest defence and an ability, but not always an overwhelming tendency, to score goals.
Tamworth made four changes to the side that ran out at Lye Meadow with Little, Obeng, Wilder and Hearn, making his full debut, all starting. Howkins was unavailable following his sending off, while this was Forde’s last game before his ban started after seeing red at Alvechurch.
Redditch made half a dozen signings in the week to try and address the poor run of form but only one new face made it into the XI.

The home side got the game underway, with The Lambs attacking the terraced ‘road’ end of the ground.
After riding an early flurry of attacking possession by the home side, Tamworth had a great chance on 4 when Forde’s ball out of midfield found Obeng and his chip was perfect to Yafai, unmarked in the box, but he couldn’t get enough purchase on his header and failed to find the target or test Boucher.
After Waite had got the ball stuck at his feet with his back to goal, a minute later Hearn unleashed a powerful effort on 8 but it curled over and wide of the mark by a few feet either way.
A foul on the right gave the home side a dead ball on 12 which Rowe-Turner headed away for a Redditch corner and Little blocked an attempted cross from Martin to give them another try but the low ball was booted away.
On 16 The Lambs pushed up field again with Little involved again, he found Yafai but his right footed strike went high and wide. The Lambs took the lead on 20 after great work from Obeng,
Yafai and Waite who forced Boucher to parry his shot from the left of the box and Hearn was perfectly placed to finish the rebound from 6 yards out. (1-0, 20 mins)
Hearn looked for another soon after, jinking past his man in the box to force a corner with his shot and then forced Boucher into a close range parry to deny him on 27.
Redditch were awarded a freekick on the edge of the D on 28 but Martin almost cleared the perimeter fencing with his deadball.
Hussain forced a left sided corner on 31 off Little but it came to nothing and the home side were forced back to the halfway line and the move broke down.
At the other end, Hearn slipped the ball through to Yafai on 35 but his shot was prevented from reaching Boucher by a covering defender.
Obeng’s run and shot resulted in a left sided corner on 38 and it was headed away to Obeng then back to Beswick and given away to Redditch who put a deep cross in but Little cleared it and Tamworth eventually got a shot away through Waite who struck straight at Boucher from 18 yards.
Waite’s tumble in the box under pressure on 41 was not deemed to have been worthy of a penalty call, and the Forde threaded it through to Obeng and he found Hearn in the box but his angled finish went wide of the far post by a few inches.
And in the final action of the half the ball fell invitingly for Beswick to strike from 25 yards but his effort rose over the target by a few yards before the whistle blew on proceedings at The Valley.

HT: Redditch United 0    1 Tamworth

The Lambs made a change at the break before restarting proceedings with Hoenes replacing Obeng but it was defender Little who doubled The Lambs advantage, doing all the hard work down the right before surging into the box and rifling his shot home past Boucher (2-0, 47 mins)
The home side pushed upfield and sent in a couple of dangerous balls which made their way back to Singh, but it didn’t take long for The Lambs to get back into attacking mode although Waite was unable get his boot to an inviting ball before the Redditch defence cleared.
Tamworth made the first change of the game on 54 introducing Pegg for Hearn. Waite struck wide of the mark on 58, Hoenes forced the Redditch defence to clear their lines from his right sided low drive on 62 and when Gough set up Forde with a left sided low cross on 63 the latter’s shot went high over the target.
The Lambs showed their control by stringing a lot of passes together before Yafai struck his shot straight at Boucher.
Yafai was denied by the keeper again a minute later on 67 after he latched onto a Beswick through ball but couldn’t ;quite get around the dive of the keeper on the edge of the box. Hoenes was brought down on 69 and Beswick struck it wide from the deadball 20 yards out.
Gough found himself high up the field on 76 and tried to go past his man but was brought down so Beswick stepped up again and Boucher did well to get down to his left and push it around the post for a corner, which came to nothing.
Hoenes did well to stay on his feet at he went into the box from the right wing on 79 and got a shot off which went for a corner on the right which Beswick’s replacement Clement planted onto the head of Wilder and Boucher pushed it away for another flagkick on the same side.
The second corner was put behind for another on the opposite side, and the third came to nothing in the end. Redditch made their way up field and put some late pressure on The Lambs back line as the minutes ticked down but it didn’t last long, and a Clement corner was punched away on 85.
Misambo directed his header at Singh on 87 and Kennedy-Williams put a free header high over the target on 89 as The Lambs defence opened up a little in the final exchanges, and then Martin dragged a shot past the far post from the left of the D in added time.
Misambo saw a gap again on 93 and powered his shot wide of the right hand post and into the fencing behind the goal which Clement tried similarly but it took a deflection and went out for a corner on the left. He took it himself and it was cleared out to Forde who shot from distance, over the target before the final whistle blew on another three points to keep The Lambs on top.

Tamworth Team:
Singh, Little, Wilder, Beswick (Clement 78), Gough, Rowe-Turner, Obeng (Hoenes HT), Forde, Hearn (Pegg 54), Yafai, Waite
Subs: Frances, Lait

Redditch United Team:
Boucher, Kennedy-Williams Endall, Rehman, Misambo, Birch, Yearwood (Marusiak 86), Rankin, Owusu-Nepaul, Martin, Hussain (Castro 76)
Unused: Moyo, Santos

Attendance: 361

Referee: Mr. D. Darby

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