Alty net all three points in wind assisted game
24 November 2009
Tamworth welcomed Altrincham to a breezy evening at The Lamb and Gary Mills was forced to make two changes to the side that had beaten Ebbsfleet four days previously with Michael Briscoe ruled out through illness and Tom Shaw taking a place on the bench. In their places Michael Wylde returned to the starting eleven for the first time in four outings along with Simon Russell.
The Lambs kicked off the game towards the Castle End, against the wind, and on 3 Brown received the ball on the right chipped to the far post and although Wright got his head on the chance he had strayed just offside.
After some delightful passing out of defence Wright tried his luck with a right footed shot from distance on the left wing on 4 which brought a dive from Coburn, but it went just wide of the near post.
The first corner of the game came on 9 and it was Altrincham who won it and took it short for Lawton to flash a shot across the face of goal which took a deflection for another flag kick which Tamworth cleared.
Great movement saw Russell put the ball into the feet of Brown on 11 and he got a curling shot away from the edge of the area which Coburn collected.
At the other end a defensive back header had to be headed behind by Wylde for a corner and despite some Altrincham pressure Danylyk ended the move with a wayward shot high and wide of the mark.
MacKenzie tee'd up Brown for a volley from edge of the 18 yard box on 16 but he miss-hit the shot and it didn't trouble Coburn at all.
Tait received a booking for a late challenge on Danylyk inside the Alty half on 18 while on 21 Brown was penalised for a tackle on the left wing after he appeared to get the ball cleanly with a boot around the Alty player.
A fair amount of quick passing Lambs pressure hampered by some quick boots from the visiting defence won Tamworth a corner on 23 which Brown put on the head of Wright but was glanced behind by a defenders head and from the retake MacKenzie met the ball with a hefty stretching boot but couldn't divert it towards goal.
Pritchard diverted a left wing cross from Wylde into the area in the next move but Coburn collected and when Sheridan crossed from Pritchard's through ball a minute later Russell found his path blocked.
Blackwood then brought down Little as a long goal kick reached the edge of the area and both players picked up a booking but it was the visitors who won the freekick.
Some argy-bargy in the area before the kick was taken saw the ref have a word with Blackwood and Little before the freekick flew straight into Alcock's arms.
Tamworth responded with Pritchard shooting into the side netting from the right of the area after Mackenzie's downward header allowed him to jink through.
Sheridan found his way impeded by Young on 29 but the dead ball came to nothing as the enormous visiting supporters flag threatened to take off and a long kick from Coburn took once bounce 10 yards from the opposite end of the pitch (yes it's a bit windy!)
At the other end, Brown's floated left wing cross was headed over his own bar by Young for a Lambs corner by the tea hut but the flag kick flew off the ground on the opposite side without a touch.
Tait's right wing ball into the danger area just didn't fall right for Mackenzie and when Pritchard gave Brown the ball out wide his cross was taken at height by Coburn.
Brown moved forward but saw his low pass cut out with Wright and Pritchard bearing down and when Wright chipped the ball over the defence Brown couldn't get his shot away before Williams cut it out again.
Blackwood crossed long for MacKenzie on 40 and his header fell kindly for Sheridan who then set up Russell on the edge of the box. He turned onto his preferred foot to get a shot away and cleared the bar by just a foot or so.
Sheridan worked his way around the last defender on the right of the area on 42 and put a low ball across the face of goal but neither Pritchard nor MacKenzie could get a foot onto the chance which would undoubtedly have opened the scoring.
And a similar ball from Pritchard evaded everyone before a corner was won with a deflection.
A short corner by Brown was put out for another but from the second Coburn caught and launched his kick into Alcock's area for him to do catch too.
As the first half drew to a close Tamworth kept up the pressure but the ball wouldn't drop and three minutes added time was shown.
MacKenzie stepped up to launch a freekick into the area from the right of centre and Pritchard got his head on the chance but only managed to send it spinning wide of the mark.
At the other end Danylyk won a corner with a deflected shot and Alcock pulled off a superb save from Kearney's resulting shot, lifting the ball over the bar at full stretch in the final action of the half.
Altrincham started the second half with The Lambs playing with the wind this time.
Both sides found it hard to get to grips with the bounce in the early exchanges but Tamworth almost took advantage when Wright's overhead flick fell into the path of Brown a few yards out, but the flag denied him a chance of a shot.
Alty won a corner when Smith put a boot out to deny a low cross from Doughty on 52 and from it Williams flashed his header just wide of the far post.
MacKenzie's header into the path of Brown from Blackwood's long ball from the left found him offside while at the other end a foul on the right of the box allowed the visitors a freekick which Doughty struck low but it went out off the shins of Senior for a goal kick.
A tug on Pritchard set up Tamworth with a debated freekick and MacKenzie curled the ball around the wall but found Coburn in fine form as he dived to push it around the post. Lawton was booked for protesting and when Wright's cross came in from the right the Alty defence headed away.
Wylde put the ball into the danger area and Wright got his head to it, but again it was cleared away as it dropped into the box.
Doughty was then booked for not taking a throw in quick enough as the wind continued to play havoc with any ball above a few feet off the pitch and both teams continued to struggle to take control of proceedings.
A great ball to Brown from MacKenzie gave the Lambs forward a run into the box but he was forced wide and when he put the ball into the box there was no one up to take advantage.
On 68, a clash of heads between Wylde and Smith halted play in the Tamworth area as Alty were attacking and play restarted with a drop ball on the edge of the box with Smith off the pitch.
Wright was released down the right when play broke and his cross was just too long for Sheridan who sprinted to gather it at the far side and fired it back into the box, but the Alty defence thwarted both Pritchard and Brown as they looked to shoot. Sheridan was replaced by Christie and then Smith gave away a freekick at the other end, just outside the box with a foul on Senior.
Doughty stepped up and fired the freekick around the wall into the left hand side of the net from 20 yards to give the visitors the lead. (0-1, 70 mins)
Densmore then swept a right footed shot into the side netting then on 76 Pritchard was felled by Williams just left of centre 20 yards out. Williams was booked and Mackenzie looked to have curled the ball into the far top corner but a defensive header denied him and a corner was won but it was wasted.
Lake-Gaskin replaced Brown with 10 to go but as The Lambs continued to struggle with the blustery conditions Alty won a corner and Williams, rushing into the near post, flicked his header over the bar.
On 85 Pritchard had his name taken for a late challenge and on 87 Kearney's initial shot was not held cleanly by Alcock allowing sub McAliskey to sneak in and prod home the loose ball to double his side's advantage (0-2, 87 mins).
Five minutes added time was shown at the end of the second period, and when Wright ran through with a clear shot on target it showed that things just weren't going to go The Lambs way as Coburn dropped and smothered his angled ball to deny him.
And as if to prove the last sentence, when Christie won a freekick as the seconds ticked past the five minute mark MacKenzie struck the top of the bar with his shot shortly before the final whistle blew.
Alcock, Tait, Blackwood, Smith, Wylde, MacKenzie, Wright, Pritchard, Sheridan (Christie 70), Russell, Brown (Lake-Gaskin 80)
Subs: Shaw, Langdon, Ulker
Coburn, Smith J, Doughty, Kearney (Clee 90+), Young, Densmore, Lawton, Little (McAliskey 66), Williams, Danylyk, Senior (Denham 78)
Subs: Saunders, Welch
Man of the Match: South Staffs College chose Chris Smith
Referee: Mr. R. Joyce