Christie penalty brings a point back
22 October 2011
On the back of three wins and a draw The Lambs arrived at Haig Avenue, to face a team two places and just three points ahead in sixth after Friday's results.
Tamworth had only ever beaten The Sandgrounders twice in the eighteen previous encounters, the most recent coming in the Lambs promotion season when Nick Wright secured a 1-0 win at Haig Avenue.
Danny Thomas and Duane Courtney came into the starting eleven at the expense of Scott Barrow who didn't feature and Ashley Cain who took a place on the bench.
Tamworth got the match underway, kicking away from the away end and with Courtney at right back with Tait in front of him on the wing.
The wind was playing a part in the movement of the ball above head height and a long throw into the Lambs area on 4 caused problems which ended when Akrigg struck right footed from 12 yards past the post and out.
A high leading elbow from Green put Poku on the deck on 5 and earned him an early booking and a forward move in numbers by the home side was halted when a high boot went in inside the area, but thankfully didn't connect with Francis.
Neither side was exerting their grip on the match in the opening ten minutes, although the home side did seem to be moving around quicker and on 10 Gray almost connected to a ball into the area from the right, but missed by a whisker.
A corner was won by the Sandgrounders on 13 on the right which Hedge took well at height and The Lambs moved the ball up field and quickly won one of their own which Smith played in put it was cleared and Whalley went on a run down the left before planting it onto the head of Gray who nodded unmarked past Hedge with relative ease (0-1, 14 mins)
On 18 Whalley lifted a long range shot over the bar from the right channel while at the other end The Lambs won another flag kick and forced McMillan into his first telling stop of the game but his body block at the feet of St Aimie was more than enough to deny any chance of an equaliser.
Mukendi hit an absolute screamer at Hedge on 22 with a sweet but very powerful right foot shot from 25 yards and the Lambs custodian did superbly well to block and stop the ball earning both players applause all round the ground.
A clash on the far side for a 50/50 ball between Kanyuka and Southport captain Lee saw the latter needing a stretcher to leave the field and there was a lengthy stop in play as the appropriate strapping etc. was applied to his right leg.
The Lambs forged a path at goal on 34 through Thomas who struck Christie's knock down right footed at McMillan and the keeper made a good stop at his near post.
Tait then needed a touch from the magic sponge before Poku received a booking for a boot down the back of Smith's ankles on 36.
Tait reacted to a challenge on 36 and all but a few players rushed to the edge of the Southport box before being separated and a card was shown to the Lambs defensive midfielder and Southport's Grand as well.
Courtney, Green, and a couple of the home side had a mini conference with the referee on 41 presumably to try and stamp out niggly disruptions although a minute later Smith fouled in the right corner and took the yellow card tally to five in total.
Green flicked a right sided corner past the far post on 45 and seven minutes added time was shown.
Thomas saw his 49th minute shot well blocked and from Tait's right wing high cross, McMillan leapt to push it out of play for a corner.
McMillan then performed a miracle somehow denying Thomas' far post finish with a reaction save when it looked certain the ball was going into the net shortly before the whistle blew.
Tait was replaced by Cain before the home side restarted the game at nearly ten past four and it was Southport who enjoyed a very quick run at goal with Gray looking to add to his tally inside the first minute, but his header went a whisker wide of the mark.
A penalty was awarded on 49 when Kanyuka was brought down in the box by Mukendi setting up Christie from the spot and he duly put it away to level the tie (1-1, 50 mins)
Habergham was left prostrate by the half way line as play continued down and out for a Southport corner which came to nothing but on 56 a good ball from the left which left Courtney a mere spectator was just missed at the far post by Mukendi.
Habergham and Hedge conspired to deny Southport attacks on a virtual open goal on 61 as the ball bobbled around and between the defenders and keepers legs.
Patterson, fresh from his midweek winner against Hayes and Yeading, replaced Smith with 25 to go.
The 113 Lambs fans continued to sing in the sunshine despite the cold wind blowing down the ground at them on the exposed terracing as Cain made a good run and won a corner from the tackle to deny his cross on 67. The flag kick was cleared but Patterson put the ball back in and it caused a problem or two earning Courtney a long throw on the left which was cleared.
The home side tried to capitalise on the possession gained and Gray attempted an overhead kick from a central position which looked good but nothing more.
The referee spotted an infringement and stopped play on 73 when Patterson and McMillan went for the same high ball causing the keeper to drop his catch while at the other end Hedge stopped a tame shot from Mukendi in the next move.
A quick break from some strong pressure allowed Cain and Patterson to exchange passes on 76 but the final ball from Cain was too close to McMillan and the keeper collected with Patterson coming in at the far post.
Grand headed back across goal and out past the near post when a long throw bounced clear of the defensive boots then, Thomas' chip to the far post from the left was headed at goal by Patterson but McMillan blocked it well and Tamworth had to be content with a corner.
Mills replaced Thomas before the flag kick and another was won which eventually fell to Patterson but his ball to the far post was well taken by McMillan.
Hedge went down clutching his midriff following a challenge for a high ball in the area on 84 and needed a visit from the physio whiel Liam Watson introduced Davis into the back line of the home side for the final five.
Mills advanced into the box a minute later but the ball got the better of his feet and the chance went begging then at the opposite end Brown struck a right footed shot well over the bar and into the home terracing from 20 yards.
Cain's freekick on the left was taken at height by McMillan with 2 to go before Patterson put a late challenge through Poku, earning him a booking.
As the clocked ticked into three minutes added time Southport won a corner which mills and St Aimie cleared between them only for the home side to win another on the opposite side which everyone missed and Gray was denied a cross back in by Green.
A corner on the right was the result which Hedge palmed away and a foul was spotted too giving the keeper a freekick in the six yard box shortly.
The whistle blew on a point a piece and the travelling faithful were applauded for the support by the entire Lambs team.
Hedge, Tait (Cain HT), Habergham, Courtney, Francis, Smith (Patterson 64), St. Aimie, Thomas (Mills 78), Green, Christie, Kanyuka
Substitutes: Bradley, Collister
Yellow Cards: Green 5, Tait 37, Smith 42, Patterson 90
McMillan, Lever, Aley, Akrigg (Davis 85), Grand, Poku, Lee (Brown 30), Ledsham, Whalley, Gray, Mukendi
Substitutes: Nemes, Walker, Carden
Yellow Cards: Poku 36, Grand 37
Referee: Mr. S. Duncan