All square as both sides finish with 10 men.
16 September 2006
After Tuesday night’s 4-1 reversal Mark Cooper made just two changes to the starting eleven, for the game against one of his former clubs, both forced by injury. Michael Touhy made his first start of the season while Alan Nielson came in for Adie Smith and Kyle Storer respectively.
Forest Green came into the game not having won an away game for almost one whole year and at the bottom of the current league table, but had the first shot at goal through their captain Jamie Pitman.
The Lambs first real break through came on 6 minutes via a Gavin McAllum ball to the far post which Taiwo Atieno headed back across goal, but there was no one in the box to pick up the loose ball.
Simon Clist seized onto a poor pass by Bradley Thomas on 9 minutes and shot from distance but didn’t really trouble Sean Bowles who allowed his effort to roll harmlessly out of play.
The Lambs won their first corner on 12 minutes and Atieno was denied a header by the Rovers defence but he made no mistake with the resultant flag kick, heading home at the far post to make it 1-0.
On 18 minutes, McAllum went down holding his leg in pain but it appeared to be just a touch of cramp and carried on.
Shortly after, Allan Russell tried to beat Bowles from distance on the right, but his harmless shot was collected by The Lambs ‘keeper.
Atieno challenged visiting keeper Steve Williams for the ball on 23 and had the spin been more forgiving he would have notched his second goal of the game but it hit the outside of the post and went out to safety.
The half then continued with both sides looking to break through, Tamworth’s defence were strong and rarely troubled by Rovers while Tamworth searched in vain, despite some good play, for the killer ball to get a morale boosting second goal.
As the first half drew to a close, the visitors started to exert some previously unseen pressure on The Lambs, most of it self inflicted – caused by inaccurate passing or simply losing the ball in the danger areas.
The visitors immediately got themselves back into the game with an equalizer on 47 minutes. Alex Meechan lofted a teasing cross into the middle of the area and Simon Clist headed, under pressure from Bowles, into an otherwise empty net. (1-1)
And Forest Green got a penalty on 50 minutes when McAllum brought down Les Afful as he burst into the box. McAllum was shown a red card for his efforts and Michael Brough struck the spot kick well, but Bowles threw himself to his right and blocked his strike which was then cleared.
Paul Devlin made his return to the Lamb in desperate circumstances, his first game at The Lamb for over 15 years, on 53 for an injured Mat Williams.
A suicidal ball by Tuohy back to Bowles on 56 allowed Clist to nip in and head for goal, but Alan Neilson was on hand to challenge and deny a clear cut goalscoring chance.
With the numerical deficit The Lambs were on the back foot and appeared to be in a little disarray as Rovers pushed forward. Forest Green kept finding chinks of light in the Lambs defence and Cooper brought on Jon Stevenson for Tuohy who was showing signs of fatigue after his first hour on the field of the season.
Nicholson tried to curl a shot into the far corner on 70 minutes but the ball went over the corner of the Tamworth bar and post.
Steve Burton replaced Atieno on 71 – the Lambs striker had run himself into the ground and it was a straight swap but the Lambs still found it hard to get into the final third of the field.
Chances were at a premium for both sides but the Gloucestershire side, with the obvious advantage, were trying hard to get a winner.
But it almost fell to Lambs substitute Steve Burton in the 88th minute who responded quickest to Deakin’s powerfully driven shot which ‘keeper Williams parried well however Burton was just offside as he blasted the ball over the bar.
Then Charlie Griffin leapt to head over Bowles bar shortly after but he clashed heads as he attacked the ball and play had to be stopped for some time while he was attended to by the physio and doctor. (An additional nine minutes play were played.)
In stoppage time, and with both sides having only ten men Tamworth shouted loud for a penalty when Burton was seemingly floored by Edwards and the same player headed over the bar from a Stevenson cross seconds later.
Williams (Devlin 53), Atieno (Burton 79)
McAllum, Neilson, Deakin, Kendrick, Tuohy (Stevenson 63)
Thomas, Kemp, Weaver
Subs: Bampton, Storer
Forest Green Rovers:
Russell (Griffin 68), Meechan
Clist, Pitman, Brough (Zarczynski 78), Afful (Stonehouse71)
Nicholson, Jones, Edwards, Lawless
Subs: Wanless, Preece
Goals: Atieno 12, Clist 47
Yellow Cards: Russell 29
Red Cards: McAllum 50
MOM as voted for by Match Sponsors Clive Tomlinson, Vice President: Atieno