All square at the end
03 March 2009The Lambs welcomed the Sandgrounders to a wet and windy Lamb that saw most supporters clambering for whatever shelter they could squeeze under but there was no respite for the players of either side who had to brave the elements.
Gary Mills made one enforced change with Nick Wright out with a groin strain and brought Chris Smith and Martin Foster back into the eleven, Foster returning from suspension.
Southport kicked off the game but the Lambs immediately won a freekick in the centre circle before Southport realised what was going on.
With the rain now at a light drizzle making the ball whiz off the slippery surface Smith played a one two with Pritchard and hit a shot at McMillan. Sheldon was unable to hit home the rebound but did win a corner on 6 which was played short and the visitors cleared.
Southport then moved the ball into the Tamworth area but the Lambs defence worked it back out of danger. However Whalley made a run down the right wing past Wylde and flashed a cross into the box which Kilheeney couldn’t reach and went out for a throw.
A foul on the left wing 20 yards out gave Whalley a chance from the dead ball on 10 and Sandgrounders captain Powell rose highest to put the ball home with a downward header that bounced before it crossed the line. (0-1, 10 mins).
The visitors were having the better of the possession and were doing their best to close down The Lambs but they won a corner on 18 which Shaw fired into the box and tried to work it back in but the ball skipped of the surface before Shaw could get a left wing cross in.
Sheldon set Rodman free on the right on 26 but the latter was unable to get a telling cross into the area as the ball skimmed off his boot and harmlessly went out for a goal kick.
Pritchard was felled under a challenge from Davis on 28 and although no penalty was given, Tamworth won a corner. From the flag kick Sheridan flashed a shot at goal and missed by inches as The Lambs started to look livelier.
More good forward movement from Tamworth as they upped the tempo on the field and they got their rewards on 34 when Sheridan slotted the ball home with a shot a few feet in from the far post from Pritchard’s inch perfect right wing cross which dropped perfectly for him to side foot into the net (1-1, 34 mins).
McMillan denied Sheridan his second of the evening on 37 after Pritchard played him through from the half way line and as the Lambs number 7 burst into the box the Southport keeper slid out and got in the way of his attempted chip.
The Lambs intentions were clear when McAughtrie ventured forwards for a freekick and then a long throw by the corner on 40 which allowed Wylde to rob the ball off Whalley and then unleash a shot from 35 yards which missed the target by a foot.
Sheridan whipped a low ball into the box on 42 but Rodman was unable to beat the covering defender at the far post and the ball went out of play.
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the first period with The Lambs in possession and Sheridan just failed to get enough purchase on a Lyttle throw before the whistle blew.
Tamworth kicked off the second half and the home faithful were hoping for more of the same.
Southport won a corner on 49 that Shaw and the Lyttle cleared looking for the run of Sheridan but it was cut out on the half way line and the latter picked up a booking for a challenge on Lever on 55 as Tamworth pushed forward again.
A push by Gray in the back of Rodman gave The Lambs a freekick inside the Southport half on 57 but when Sheldon received the ball and back heeled it into the path of Wylde his cross was wayward.
Sheridan crossed high from the left on 59 and McMillan collected unchallenged a yard off his line and on the hour Whalley hit a hopeful right footed effort from 40 yards which didn’t trouble Alcock at all.
Lyttle finished a fine move across field with a cross into the box which the visiting defence headed out for a corner on 64 and Rodman got his head to Shaw’s flag kick but was unable to keep it down and cleared the bar.
McAughtrie did well to cut out the ball from the path of Kilheeney who played a neat one two with Leadbetter into the Lambs area on 66 and Alock punched clear a chipped cross from Kilheeney shortly after.
Kilheeney became the first substitute of the game on 71 and the game lacked the precision it had earlier had as the ball spent more time in the air than on the deck.
Pritchard turned his marker and won a corner on 81, as Foster was replaced by Birley,
but nothing came of it despite three attempts to put a right wing cross in.
On 84 Tamworth made their second change of the evening, with Nicholson replacing Sheldon in a straight swap up front.
A the game entered the final throws Leadbetter tried a shot from 20 yards which Alcock watched fly over his bar and sub Smart hit a right foot shot from the edge of the area past the far upright as four minutes added time was shown.
Southport ran a bit of the clock down by making their final change in stoppage time and there was time for Sheridan to force McMillan to tip the ball over the bar fort a corner but not enough time for a winner to come from the flag kick and the whistle blew on a point for each team.
Alcock, Lyttle, Wylde, Smith, McAughtrie, Foster (Birley 81), Sheridan, Shaw, Sheldon (Nicholson 84), Rodman, Pritchard
Subs: Lea, Burgess, Nurse
McMillan, Lever, Gray, Flynn, Davis, Powell, Whalley (Booth 76), Lee, Leadbetter, Kilheeney (Smart 71), McGinn (Connolly 93)
Subs: Price, Drench
Man of the Match: Chosen by Polesworth Garage: Bradley Pritchard
Referee: Mr. A. Madley (Ossett)