All square at The Lamb
10 February 2007
The Lambs' fans worked miracles, clearing the entire pitch of snow prior to the referee's inspection, to ensure the crunch league fixture against second from bottom Southport went ahead. A 2-0 victory would see The Lambs leave the foot of the table for the first time since New Year's Day and after the win against third placed York City last Saturday much was expected against their fellow bottom two team.
There was one change to the side that won 2-0 at Bootham Cresent, with John McGrath returning for Graeme Law who took a place on the bench alongside new signing Michael Briscoe from Hucknall.
On the green but soggy pitch it was obvious that both sides would take a while to find and keep their feet as the ball rolled well but control was not easy.
The Lambs won their first corner on 9 but it was easily taken by Paul Harrison in the visitors' goal. Harrison flapped at a John McGrath freekick on 11 but Jake Edwards was facing the wrong way to get a meaningful shot away.
At the other end Mark Boyd tried his luck direct from a free kick but Jose Veiga collected his long range effort on 14.
McGrath crossed high from the left on 15 for Edwards to knock down to Matty Williams, but the former Man Utd trainee blasted his shot under pressure over the bar from 10 yards.
Persistence from Taiwo Atieno won a corner on 17 but the chance was cleared, then as Lambs tried hard to play the ball on the ground Edwards' header from Atieno’s right wing cross went off target.
A rasping shot from Atieno on 21 cannoned back of the post after Kyle Storer had fed him with a great ball into the area and the Lambs' marksman beat his defender to shoot left footed at Harrison's goal from the left of the six-yard box.
But it was Southport who took the lead on 22 via a Carl Baker right footed strike after Mark Duffy’s low right wing cross was not cleared by the Tamworth defence. (0-1)
The Lambs came back at The Sandgrounders and won a corner on 25 but Harrison collected easily.
Southport then pressed and won two corners in succession but Tamworth cleared. then on the half hour Mark Boyd struck from 30 yards but watched his shot rise high over the bar.
There was no resting for The Lambs as they tried to get back into the game and they did exactly that on 35 when Atieno headed a cross back into the danger area for McGrath to half volley into the bottom corner from 12 yards. (1-1)
Atieno tried to roll a pass from Williams into the far corner on 44 from the edge of the area but his effort rolled agonizingly wide as Harrison found himself otherwise out of position.
Duffy put a tame shot at Veiga on 45 after turning Emmet Friars on the edge of the box but the whistle blew on an entertaining first half with the honours even.
The was no let up as the second half got underway although the visitors held the upper hand in the early encounters until some thoughtful forward play from The Lambs culminated in Edwards striking a rising shot at goal but it went inches over the bar on 54.
Southport forced themselves into the danger area on 56 but quick thinking from Veiga to rush out and close down the angle on Duffy as he shaped to shoot saw the shot go wide from the right.
Jon Newby started a move inside his own half on 59, passing crossfield to Duffy and when he passed the ball to the edge of the area Newby was perfectly placed to shoot but his effort went wide.
Then Atieno burst onto a McGrath through ball and turned his defender again only to be denied once again by the woodwork, but this time he struck the underside of the bar from 12 yards and Harrison collected the rebound.
Tamworth’s first sub on 62 was a straight swap with Law replacing McGrath.
Newby was adjudged to have been pulled back by Bains, who received a yellow card for his troubles, on 70 as Southport continued to pressurise as Lambs boss Gary Mills brought Steve Burton into the fray for Edwards. But from the free kick the visitors could not capitalise.
Possession fell to Burton after a melee in the box on 78, as The Lambs pushed forward, but he couldn’t connect with the loose ball a few feet off the line.
Both sides looked for a winner in the wintry rain that had been falling all through the second half and both won corners with Law seeing his header, from Williams corner, cleared of the line by Boyd in stoppage time and Law got the ball back but shot off target.
Edwards (Burton 72), Atieno
McGrath (Law 62), Storer, Heslop, Williams
Friars, Bains, Weaver, Smith
Subs: Stevenson, Taylor, Briscoe
Harrison, Birch, Rowland, Dugdale, Hocking, Boyd, Holland, Baker, Duffy (Blakeman 73), Newby, Paterson (Gray 65)
Subs: Bagnall, Powell, Lane
Yellow Cards: Friars 43, Bains 70, Dugdale 71, Storer 75
Red Cards: none
MOM as voted by match sponsors: Delta Labelling and The Pegg Family: Atieno