All square at Alty
22 September 2009
Tamworth ran out at Moss Lane unchanged following their 2-0 victory over Salisbury which had seen the squad reach the heady heights of third in the table. And it would hopefully be a case of more of the same against Graham Heathcote's side. The Lambs had lost just once in their opening eleven games, while Alty have had an indifferent start with just one home win in five outings after a good start although they came into the game on the back of an away victory over Grays on Saturday.
Tamworth kicked off proceedings with The Lambs shooting towards the travelling fans on the terrace and Sheridan had an early shot from 20 yards which went just wide of the left hand upright.
Tait felled Denham on the right wing on 5 but Pritchard stole the ball from the mix up with the freekick only for a foul on Lyttle to halt the build forwards.
Tait forced Coburn to tip the ball behind for a Lambs corner on 7 which was wasted and on 9 Densmore cut out a right wing cross from Lake-Gaskin looking for Blackwood at the far post.
Doughty hit a right footed drive wide of the mark from the left channel on 12 as both sides looked to play a passing game when possible.
Blackwood hit the side netting, via a deflection, following a run into the box on the left but Pritchard put the ball over the bar from the short corner on 14.
With h20 minutes gone, Lake-Gaskin was brought down by Danylyk but The Lambs couldn't make the freekick count and then on 21, Blackwood crossed from the left onto the head of Lake-Gaskin but he placed his free header, on a tight angle, just over the corner of bar of post.
Smith brought down Burns as he sprinted towards goal earning the home side a freekick and The Lambs captain a talking to from Mr Duncan and Burns slammed the freekick into the wall.
Denham stole the ball to make space on the left of the Lambs area on 27 but Briscoe was on hand to both put the ball behind and clear the danger from the flag kick in a rare lapse by the Tamworth defence.
Alty enjoyed more possession but the Lambs held strong and pushed on and Coburn punched the ball off the advancing head or Blackwood from a whipped in right wing cross from Lyttle on the half hour.
Lake-Gaskin broke from the half way line on 33 and played a curling diagonal ball into the area with Blackwood advancing, but it was just too close to Coburn to give Blackwood a chance.
Tait fouled Denham on the right on 37 and Altrincham worked the ball forward, with Blackwood tracking back to help out.
A long kick to Sheridan set Blackwood on a run into left of the box by the touchline and he dragged his pass back to Russell who, twelve yards out, couldn't get enough power on his shot in what looked a certain goal had he struck it cleanly. As it was Coburn was correctly placed to drop and smother the slow moving ball which the travelling faithful failed to suck into the net!
Alty won a corner on 44 from an over hit pass back which Alcock failed to stop. It came to nothing and the one minute added time at the end of the half came to a close without further incident.
Altrincham started the second period with Tamworth fans aware that if their side could get a win and Stevenage stayed at 1-1 the Lambs would go second. But a freekick for the home side came after just 46 seconds and loud shouts for handball against Lyttle were waved away as a corner was won which Smith headed clear.
Lyttle conceded a freekick against Denham on 50 and the same player hit a long range shot from the left wing into the arms of Alcock from fully 30 yards when play restarted.
Good Lambs play across the field saw a string of passes reach Lake-Gaskin on 54 but Sheridan, under pressure, was unable to get his shot on target as the ball whipped into the area.
Alty won a corner on the left 57 which Alcock came for but couldn't hold and Smith booted it clear.
Pritchard put a header on target but was already being flagged for offside in the build up on the hour and Tait was booked for deliberate handball as Senior pushed the ball through over the half way line and from the freekick Kearney and Williams combined for the latter to shoot from 12 yards just wide of the left hand post.
This was a bit of a wake up call for Tamworth and they visibly upped their work rate, with Russell shooting from the edge of the area forcing Coburn to drop and push the ball away. The Lambs kept up the pressure, penning Alty back as Blackwood forced his way into the area, but there was no one in the right place to latch onto his cross-come-chip across the face of goal on 65.
Tamworth won a corner on 66 which Lyttle headed high over the bar from 6 yards, with a defender on his back while at the other end Burns hit a shot from 25 yards which curled wide as Alcock dived full length to his right to ‘make sure'.
Alty made their first change on 73 as MacKenzie warmed up on the touch line for Tamworth and came on a minute later.
More Lambs half chances came and went with a good cross from Sheridan being headed away, Blackwood heading the ball into the path of Pritchard, but with a defender in front of him his shot went over the bar from the edge of the area and another move involving Blackwood being halted by a packed home box.
Then on 80, a ball across midfield to the right hand side was not cut out by the home defence and Russell advanced into the area before picking his spot only to see his effort whistle past the far post.
A late challenge from behind by Thornley on Shaw earned him a booking on 82.
Tait launched a long freekick forward on 87 and Mackenzie hit it on the volley bringing a superb save from Coburn to tip it over the bar and concede a corner, which came to nothing.
The Lambs won another corner on the right on 89 which was cleared with a hefty boot and as the fourth official showed 3 minutes added time Alty won a corner on the right. The ball went out on the far side for a throw off Smith but Tamworth won back possession and a push on Sheridan set up Shaw with a freekick on the left wing which was halted following a push in the box as the ball came in and Andrew replaced Tait for his Tamworth debut just before the final whistle blew at Moss Lane.
Alcock, Tait (Andrew 90), Blackwood, Smith (capt), Pritchard, Sheridan J, Shaw, Lyttle, Briscoe, Lake-Gaskin (MacKenzie 74), Russell
Subs: Bruce, Benjamin, Koranteng
Coburn, Smith, Kearney, Densmore, Denham, Williams, Danylyk, Senior, Sheridan S (Heffernan 80), Burns (Thornley 73)
Subs: Saunders, Pearson, Thaker
Referee: Mr. S. A. Duncan