Both sides share a point with just 10 mean each.
09 April 2007
Lambs boss Gary Mills, ahead of the crunch bottom four battle against St. Albans made four changes to the side that fell by a single goal to Exeter City at the weekend.
Curtis Ujah was sidelined with a bruised foot with Ryan Lynch, Kyle Storer and Simon Heslop making way for Adie Smith, returning from suspension, Emmet Friars, Darryl Taylor and Simon Weaver in the starting eleven.
With just four games of the season remaining The Lambs were looking to buck the trend of failing to hit the back of the net for the past three games, while St Albans had not won in the last 12 games, picking up 4 out of the last 36 available points.
Tamworth came out of the starting blocks very quickly and pressed the Saints back into their own half from the kick off. But hesitancy at the back caused Graeme Law to clear his lines inside the penalty area ahead of Jose Veiga.
Rikki Bains was tripped for a Lambs free kick on the left by the clubhouse on 6 which John McGrath fired into the area but Jake Edwards header was off target.
A clash of heads between Adie Smith and Michael Briscoe caused a stop in play which required both trainers to attend to the injured parties but both recovered sufficiently to carry on.
Tamworth committed suicide on 15 minutes when McGrath sent an awfully short pass back to Veiga which Leon Archer stole in to take around the Lambs keeper and St. Albans leading goal scorer Lee Clarke rolled the ball into the empty net from 6 yards for his 11th of the season (0-1).
McGrath won a free kick on the left on 26 but visiting ‘keeper Paul Bastock punched clear and Smith couldn’t curl the ball back into the danger area as St. Albans cleared.
A Lambs corner came on 29 but Bastock collected Briscoe’s header under pressure from Simon Weaver.
Tamworth then won another freekick 20 yards out and McGrath’s strike deflected away for another Lambs flagkick but St Albans cleared and broke to the other end. Archer found space to pass to Dean Cracknell a few feet from the goal line and Law cleared his goal bound shot off the line with a desperate dive.
Edwards flicked a Bains free kick from inside The Lambs half just past the post on 35 and the same player struck well, but easy for Bastock to collect from a Darryl Taylor right wing cross on 38
Taylor struck a snap shot at goal just before first half stoppage time but cleared the bar from 15 yards but there was no first half come back for The Lambs.
Tamworth took to the field in the second half looking to make amends for the faux pas that saw them go a goal down in the first half and won a corner 45 seconds in. and although McGrath received the ball back from his initial kick when he put the ball back in Bain’s near post header and the Taylor’s half volley were denied by a resilient City defence.
Edwards made a run down the left and won a corner on 49 on the other side at the Meadow St end but Bastock held onto Briscoe’s powerful header.
Law forced another corner on 52 but Weaver’s header at the back of the box was easy for Bastock to collect high at the post
Simon Heslop replaced Simon Weaver just past the hour mark and moved into midfield with Birscoe moving into the back four and brought some impetus into the game but still The Lambs lacked the killer touch in the final third of the field.
McGrath struck a 68th minute corner well enough but Bastock caught his flag kick over the head of Edwards at the near post.
Jon Stevenson came into the fray on 73 as Tamworth looked to get that all important equalizer and his side won a corner on 75. Malik Buari broke free from the flag kick out of midfield with Briscoe putting in a telling challenge to deny him a shot at goal.
The Lambs won a penalty on 77 when Stevenson was felled under the challenge of Ram Marwa after Edwards had shot across the face of goal. Law stepped up and slammed home the equalizer from the spot – the first home penalty of the season to be converted. (1-1)
Lee Clarke was lucky to escape a sending off on 81 when he brought down Briscoe on the half way line after the ball had gone and Marwa was shown his second yellow after bringing down Stevenson on 89 leaving his side with 10 men in the final minutes of the game.
In fact the fourth official showed SIX minutes added time and Ludo Quistin was dismissed when he’d been taken down two footed by Chris Seeby but the referee spotted an elbow after the event and left both sides a man short.
The Lambs won a freekick on 94 on the right of the area but McGrath cleared the bar and City also fired in a freekick at the death but the Lambs broke through Heslop who fed Taylor but his final ball was lacking and when Atieno flicked on for Taylor at the death the flag denied a last second winner.
Edwards (Quistin 84), Atieno
McGrath, Smith, Briscoe, Taylor
Friars (Stevenson 73), Bains, Weaver (Heslop 61), Law
Subs: Bampton, Williams
St. Albans City
Cousins, Davis, Cracknell, Buari (Lopez 90)
Seeby, Martin, Deen, Marwa
Subs: Hann, Perks, Basse, Roddis, Lopez
Yellow Cards: Davis 34, Buari 45, Archer 69, Marwa 77, Clarke 79, Seeby 90+, Lopez 90+, Martin 90+, Atieno 90+
Red Cards: Marwa 89, Quistin 90+
Goals: Clarke 15, Law 78 (pen)
Referee: Mr Shaun Proctor Green
MOM: as chosen by match sponsors Autosmart International: Graeme Law