A point a piece against ten men
10 November 2012
Without a goal for in 7 hours of football and defeat in each of the last five outings, Tamworth welcomed AFC Telford United to The Lamb with the daunting stat that The Bucks had not been defeated in any of the previous ten meetings between the two sides.
But, a return to winning ways for Marcus Law's side would see them leapfrog the visitors in mid table and The Lambs boss was without the services of Sam Oji (suspended) and George Baldock and JP Marna (both injured). And Law made a couple of changes to the side that had suffered a two goal reversal at Moss Rose in midweek with Scott Barrow returning from suspension wearing the captains armband in his 100th appearance for the club.
Meanwhile, Andy Sinton's Telford squad, who had a propensity for securing a draw of late, featured a number of ex-Lambs in their ranks and fans of both teams were hopeful of a tasty tie to help warm them in the November chill.
With a low sun dropping over the Castle End of the ground a minute silence of remembrance was observed and The Bucks got the underway kicking into the sunshine.
Due to the visitors being kitted out in their purple away strip, Breeden was forced into his gold shirt and shorts but it was at the other end that Barrow sent a teasing cross to the far post but it was punched away. The Lambs kept control through and Till and Barrow combined to send the ball towards Cunnington who screwed a shot from the right of the box well wide of the target.
Kelly put a dangerous ball into the box and forced a quick defensive clearance on 5 and a minute later the same player hit a low but easy-to-collect shot at Young from the right channel.
Tamworth's positive attitude continued past 10 minutes although Young was being well protected by his back four who conceded a corner on the right from Till's attempted cross on 13.
The flag kick was headed down and off a defender for a repeat which Cunnington glanced past the far post.
St. Aimie picked up a needless yellow card for kicking the ball away after being caught a mile offside but still advancing play down field on 20 and from that point Telford enjoyed a spell of possession. They were awarded a freekick on the left by the players tunnel on 23 which Breeden caught - his first real piece of action of the game.
Young was forced into a fine stop from a Wright strike on 29 following good play from Till but the corner was cleared. Play advanced down the field and Sharp was booked for a late challenge on Taylor.
Hendrie was then booked when Salmon fell under a tangle of feet and Barrow headed Leslie's right sided freekick clear of the box.
Cunnington found some time and space to get a shot away on 37 but lifted it over the away terrace and into the conifers behind the goal.
Kelly worked hard to create an opening in the centre of the D on 41 but his shot was blocked, as was Wright's follow up and then Jones put a terrible two footed challenge in on Taylor on the left of the box earning himself a straight red card that he really couldn't argue with.
After receiving treatment Hendrie chipped the ball into the box over the sole man in the ‘wall' and Marshall met it a yard out but lifted it over the bar when it looked odds on for a goal to break the 460+ minute deadlock.
At the other end Trainer flashed a shot into the side netting as two minutes added time was played out.
Andy Sinton replaced St. Aimie at half time as The Lambs kicked off attacking the Castle End without the disadvantage of having the sun in their eyes.
Wright had the first chance of the second half, nodding a Till cross from the right over the cross bar from 8 yards out on 53 and on 57 Till's ball to the far side of the box was headed against the far post by Cunnington.
The Lambs then attempted to lay siege on the Telford goal but a slip by Barrow allowed Sharp to break through however the Welshman tracked back quickly and broke up the play.
Kelly lifted the ball overt he back four and Cunnington strode onto it on 62 but Young was well positioned to make a fine block from a very powerful strike.
Hubbins was booked for bringing Taylor down on the left wing on 66 and Kelly stepped up to put the ball into the box which Young punched clear but the referee had spotted an infringement.
On 68 Kelly nipped the ball off the Telford defenders toes but dragged the shot wide of the right hand post from the left of the area and Law brought Moke into the game.
Taylor lifted a cross from the left onto the head of the in rushing Cunnington on 74 but the latter was unable to hit the target and lifted it over the bar from 12 yards out.
Marshall won a corner on the right on 76 but Courtney's pressured header from a central position went high over the bar.
Breeden ventured wide left upfield on 76 to clear the danger but it fell to Rose on the half way line and he tried his luck with a snap shot at goal which could have embarrassed The Lambs keeper but actually curled harmless towards the hospitality area of the ground.
Cunnington couldn't quite get enough purchase on his shot from the left of the box after beating his markers for pace and Young collected at his near post with Wright bearing down as the clock ticked around to 500 competitive minutes without a goal.
Tamworth pushed forwards and camped out in the final third as the game entered the final 5 minutes came into view but a rare foray up field by the visitors won them a corner on 86 which Kelly headed away and Hubbins ball in from the right was nearly converted by Preston's close range header but he directed it over the target from 8 yards.
Till put the ball onto Cunnington's head on 89 and his downward effort was in turn nodded onto the crossbar by Wright but the flag had already gone up for offside as three minutes added time was shown.
Tait's ball into the far side of the box was then headed over the bar by Wright but there was no goal to come as the final whistle blew.
Tony BREEDEN (GK), Richard TAIT, Marcus KELLY, Tom MARSHALL, Adam CUNNINGTON, Lee HENDRIE (Adriano MOKE 69), Tommy WRIGHT, Duane COURTNEY, Peter TILL, Scott BARROW (c), Greg TAYLOR
Subs: Connor GUDGER, Scott JAMES, Charlie COLLINS, Dale BELFORD (GK)
AFC Telford United Team:
Ryan YOUNG (GK), Will SALMON, Ryan VALENTINE (c), Daniel PRESTON, Phil TRAINER, Chris SHARP (James SPRAY 64), Steven JONES, Keiron St. AIMIE (Luke HUBBINS HT), Steven LESLIE (Jon BROWN 74), Kris TAYLOR, Jordan ROSE
Subs: Nathan ROONEY, Joe COLLISTER (GK)
Man of the Match: Tamworth Herald chose Marcus Kelly
Referee: Mr. M. Bull