Alcock the penalty saviour as normal time, but Lambs go out on spot kicks
17 February 2009With a place in the final of the Birmingham Senior Cup on offer to the winners Tamworth welcomed British Gas Premier side Stourbridge to The Lamb.
Gary Mills made just a few changes to the side that had drawn away at Vauxhall at the weekend with Callum Burgess, Craig McAughtrie, Jake Sheridan and Mark Rawle in for Des Lyttle, Tom Shaw (away on England C duty), Martin Foster and Alex Rodman.
The Lambs started brightly keeping The Glassboys penned into their own half but on 5 Callum Martin found his way through and won a corner on the right for the visitors and Leon Broadhurst rattled the bar with a close range header before the defence cleared.
Pritchard crossed from the left for Rawle who put his header over the bar on 9 via a deflection for a corner but nothing came of it and three minutes later Stourbridge won a flag kick of their own. Lewis Hines planted the ball onto the head of Nathan Bennett but he sent the ball high over the bar as well.
Tamworth were passing the ball around well and keeping the visitors on their toes, and Sheridan hit a dipping effort at Lewis Solly on 15 but it was straight at the keeper and he collected easily.
For the fourth time in three games a penalty was awarded against The Lambs on 25 when McAughtrie brought down Sam Rock in the area, earning the defender a booking, and Hines stepped up to the spot. And Alcock saved the powerful kick superbly with an outstretched hand and Craig Slater put the rebound high over the bar.
Sheldon, wearing the captain’s armband, just missed out on connecting with a short backpass on the half hour and Langdon won a corner as the ball ricocheted around the area. Sheldon played the ball short to Rawle who in turn fed Pritchard who hit a shot running away from goal, and only just missed the right hand upright by a couple of feet.
Nicholson hit a hopeful effort at Solly on 34 but the keeper was untroubled by his shot and Alcock caught a similar effort from the boot of Drew Canavan on 38.
Wylde got a tame header at goal from a ball bouncing high in the box just prior to the fourth official indicating two minutes added time.
Tamworth kicked off the second period towards the Castle End and Nicholson with a change of boots from the first half had the first effort on target on 47, which the keeper fumbled but recovered as Pritchard closed down.
On 51 Pritchard sent a looping header goalward and Solly had to tip it onto the bar for a corner which Sheldon received back from a defender before sending a cross back in which was headed over the bar by the same player.
Sheldon remained in the thick of the action on the left wing from the resultant kick and won another which was put behind by Broadhurst four a fourth flag kick which Slater headed behind for more corner practise! This time McAughtrie and Wylde went for the same ball and Solly caught it in a crowded area.
As at Vauxhall, The Lambs back four camped out on the half way line and on the hour the first Lambs sub was made with Sheldon being replaced by Nick Wright.
Tamworth immediately won a corner and Rawle spun and shot on target but didn’t quite get enough purchase and Stourbridge cleared.
Wright got his head to a Rawle cross from the left on 63 but sent his effort over the bar and he almost set Nicholson clear with a chip over the Glassboys defence a minute later, but Solly was quickest to the loose ball.
An audacious cross-come-shot from the left wing Langdon almost beat Solly but fell a foot over the crossbar as the clock ticked ever closer to extra time.
A rare Stourbridge attack won them a corner with a deflected shot from Hadley on 70 and Hines found the head of Martin but he cushioned the ball well wide of the mark past the far post.
Sheridan made way for Dean Lea on 72 and he was quickly involved on the left wing and also back in defence, clearing the danger from a Stourbridge move down the right.
A push by McAughtrie on Martin gave the visitors a freekick on the left of the area on 78 and Hines took it left footed but cleared everyone in the area, sent it out for a goalkick and wasted the chance.
Burgess found Rawle’s head on 80 with a right wing cross and Lea prodded the ball over the advancing Solly only to see his shot come back off the bar and a defender for a corner which Smith met at the far post but headed just wide of the mark.
Rawle did all the hard work to get the ball in the box from the left on 82 and found Lea but he was unable to get a shot on target.
Alcock dropped to save Linden Dovey’s back header from a long Stourbridge throw on 84 as two Glassboys bore down on him and Stourbridge did their utmost to force a win in added time as three minutes time was shown and Dovey forced a great stop from Alcock at his near post to win a corner.
Extra Time – First Period
Rawle almost started extra time with a goal but shot wide of the mark from the left as Tamworth kicked off and attacked the Castle End again.
There was little action in the opposing penalty areas but there was uproar from the terraces as Mahon upended Pritchard with a crunching tackle near where the half way and touch lines meet after the referee had blown for a foul. Mahon received a yellow card for his efforts.
Rawle got a shot away on 101 which was easy for Solly to gather and Craig Reid became the final Lambs sub on 104 replacing Pritchard.
Wright got into space on the right of the area on 105 but lifted his chip over the bar and the whistle blew for ‘half time’
Extra Time – Second Period
A long cross from Reid on the left wing found Rawle on 110 but it was just too long for him to be able to control effectively and bounced out for a goalkick.
Tamworth won a freekick on 113 which Smith sent forward and Reid slammed a left foot shot at Solly before three Lambs players didn’t quite manage to get purchase on his ball into the danger area and Solly collected as he did from Wylde’s well struck shot a minute later.
Lea unleashed a right footed drive from 25 yards which Solly tipped around the post for a Lambs corner on 117 and Broadhurst headed behind for another flag kick but the offside flag halted proceedings.
Broadhurst then tried a lob on 119 which Alcock pushed over his bar for a corner and McAughtrie cleared as the seconds ticked away towards a potential penalty shoot out.
Penalties (at the Castle End)
Tamworth 1 – Wright 1-0
Stourbridge 1 – Jones 1-1
Tamworth 2 – Rawle 2-1
Stourbridge 2 – Dovey 2-2
Tamworth 3 – Nicholson - saved - 2-2
Stourbridge 3 – Broadhurst – 2-3
Tamworth 4 – Wylde 3-3
Stourbridge 4 – Canavan – chipped out of the ground – 3-3
Tamworth 5 – McAughtrie - hit the bar – 3-3
Stourbridge 5 – Slater (to win) – 3-4
Alcock, Burgess, Langdon, McAughtrie, Wylde, Smith, Nicholson, Sheridan (Lea 72), Rawle, Sheldon (Wright 59), Pritchard (Reid 104)
Subs: Law, Wilkins
Solly, Rock (Dovey 68), Hines (Jones 95), Collins, Drake (Hadley 62), Bennett, Slater, Broadhurst, Martin, Mahon, Canavan
Subs: Bala, Ford
Referee: Mr. T. Horton (Wolverhampton)