Christie and Pritchard see Lambs through to next round
12 December 2009
Tamworth's FA Trophy campaign got underway at Mansfield Town's Field Mill Ground and without the services of Simon Russell, Michael Blackwood, Alex Rodman and Nick Wright, Gary Mills was forced to make three changes to the side that suffered defeat by a solitary goal at home to Crawley last weekend.
Tom Shaw and Iyseden Christie took to the field after warming the bench for the past few games while Michael Briscoe came into the defence.
With £5,000 prize money on offer to the winners there was more than just a good cup run at stake as both Mills and David Holdsworth's sides would be going all out to see their respective team's names in the hat for the next round draw.
It's a strange set up this afternoon, with everyone located on one side of the ground in the large main stand - the Lambs fans are entering the ground in the ‘Stags' stand but making their way to the lower echelons of the main stand while the ‘MTFC' stand at the other end is closed and on the opposite side of the pitch the old stand behind the dugouts is also closed meaning everyone gets the same view of the game, albeit from a slightly different angle,; that was until 5 minutes before kick-off when the away stand started to become populated with the appreciative travelling faithful!
As the teams were announced a number of friendly boos emanated form the home fans at the announcement of a number of ex-Stags - MacKenzie, Brown and Christie - and Tamworth got the match underway kicking away from the Lambs fans.
Tamworth pushed forward from the kick off but a high ball to Sheridan was booted clear. Although the sun was shining elsewhere in Mansfield, the shadow of the main stand required the floodlights from the first whistle and Tamworth won a corner on 3 which Shaw looked for Christie with, but it 3as headed behind for another flag kick which Louis Briscoe cleared.
Briscoe found space to cross from the right on 5 for the home side and it went long to Burgess who did the same from the other side and clipped the top of crossbar on its way out of play.
On 6, Morris got the better of Michael Briscoe but saw his shot come off the Lambs defender for a corner which was cleared.
On 12, Shaw had the Lambs first real chance of the game with a 25 yard shot which deflected off Brough causing Marriott little problem as he dropped to collect.
The Mansfield half of the pitch is starting to cut up while the Lambs half is not so bad which reflects the areas of play so far quite accurately but it's stalemate all round with 20 minutes gone!
Tamworth won a freekick in a central position 30 yards out a couple of minutes later which Briscoe lined up to strike right footed with the wall on the edge of the area and his shot struck it before being hoofed clear.
A tame shot from Sheridan 20 yards from goal rolled harmlessly past the left hand upright on 24 and Marriott messed up a throw out which fell straight to MacKenzie but he was unable to play Christie in although the Lambs kept possession and won a corner from a Tait cross which was headed away.
Shaw took the flag kick on the right and it was cleared but only as far as MacKenzie who put a ball deep into the area which Marriott collected at height.
A late challenge on Sheridan earned Garner a booking on 28 and MacKenzie put the dead ball in from the left wing onto the head of Christie who nodded home from 6 yards out ending the 451 minute goal drought and giving Tamworth the lead (1-0, 28 mins)
The game livened up a bit in the following few minutes, with the home fans vocally getting on their sides backs, and on 35 Christie almost made it two, running onto a ball from MacKenzie but he got his lob of the advancing keeper slightly wrong.
With Marriott obviously suffering from a knock picked up when Christie tried his lob, the keeper needed treatment but could not continue and Sandercombe barely had chance to warm his gloves as Tamworth won a corner on the left which came to nothing.
Hotchkiss picked up a yellow card to a sliding challenge on Sheridan on 41 as Tamworth went in search of a second goal before half time.
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the half and with it a good shot from Burgess which Smith dive-chested clear and at the other end Christie launched himself at Sandercombe's clearance which cannoned back towards goal but was always well wide of the mark - and The Stags left to boos from the home faithful. (Simon Russell pictured smiling!)
Mansfield got the second half underway and the pace was much increased on the first half and the temperature dropped as Morris struck the corner of bar and post from a tight angle on the left on 50.
Brown beat the offside trap and the keeper to take the ball wide of the box on 52 but instead of finding Pritchard unmarked in the area he went for goal and his shot curled wide of the far post.
Challinor got a strong low shot at Alcock on 54 which the Lambs keeper held onto.
On 58 MacKenzie launched a freekick into the box but won it back and fed Smith who in turn won a corner on the left which bounced around the box and was eventually headed behind as Christie tried a half volley and from the second corner, Smith rose highest but headed well wide.
Mansfield then enjoyed a spell of possession but it was cut short when Hickinbottom was adjudged to have put a late tackle in on Sheridan as he won the ball and started to burst down the left wing, and earned himself a booking on 64.
The home side continued to move the ball around well in the centre of the park but found Tamworth playing at the top of their game to deny them a clear path.
Holdsworth swapped one striker for another on 71 with 10 goal Perry coming on for 12 goal Duffy and Somner was cautioned a minute later for a foul on Smith - Mansfield's fourth yellow card of the game.
A leading elbow from Wylde on Perry earned the home side a freekick 25 yards from goal, slightly to the right of centre which Hotchkiss hit into the wall but then found a way through from the rebound, forcing Alcock to drop and make a telling save on 75.
Pritchard received the ball from a throw on the left and made his way all the way to the opposite side of the box a minute later before crossing just past the far post for Christie but he could only put his header over the net from 6 yards.
Morris squandered another chance on 78 after picking the ball up inside the area in space on the right of the box, but proceeded to smash his shot high and wide when it called for something a lot better.
Inside the final 10 minutes and Burgess saw the ball stolen off his toes by Smith as he shaped to shoot in a central position as the Stags pushed forward with The Lambs putting everyone except Christie behind the ball.
The home side then won a corner on 83 when Wylde headed behind and Alcock punched it clear until a push in the area and reaction by Perry earned him a booking.
Newbold came on for his debut with five to go, replacing the lambs goalscorer up front and Pritchard was booked for kicking the ball away on 87 and Tamworth did their best to play keep ball while still moving forward.
Four minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and passes started to go astray for the home side as The Lambs continued to defend strongly but gave away a freekick 35 yards out only for Heckingbottom to put the ball straight out of play from the dead ball.
Pritchard then made sure of the win in the final seconds with a finish from close range after great play from Brown down the right saw him whip a low ball into the Lambs midfielders feet a yard from goal and with Marriott beaten he duly slotted home. (2-0, 94 mins)
Alcock, Tait, Smith C., Wylde, MacKenzie, Pritchard, Sheridan, Shaw, Briscoe M., Brown, Christie (Newbold 85)
Subs: Lyttle, Belford, Lake-Gaskin, Ulker
Mansfield Town Team:
Marriott (Sandercombe 39), Garner, Briscoe L. (Williams 58), Somner, Duffy (Perry 71), Morris, Challinor, Hotchkiss, Brough, Burgess
Subs: Jones, Sturrock
Referee: R. L. Metcalfe