Daggers take one step closer to the title
31 March 2007
Against league leaders Dagenham and Redbridge, Lambs boss Gary Mills made no changes to the side that had defeated Gravesend in midweek. Matt Williams, Steve Burton and Simon Weaver were all close but not close enough to risk in another massive game for Tamworth and only time would tell if the squad could pull off a shock against the ‘champions elect’.
An early shot from Paul Benson after he found space 35 yards from goal was very easy for Jose Veiga to collect but there was no sitting back from The Lambs although Taiwo Atieno’s header from a long throw went wayward on 2.
Benson forced Veiga to tip the ball over his bar on 4 with a speculative chip from 12 yards but the Lambs keeper collected the resultant corner.
Benson forced another corner off Emmet Friars on 9 and when Simon Heslop’s clearance fell to Dave Rainford the Daggers midfielder struck for goal, but Viega saved low to stop his shot.
Ben Strevens latched onto a missed clearance from Bains on 11 but struck high off target before the Lambs won a free kick 35 yards from goal. John McGrath chipped the deadball forward and it eventually fell to Jake Edwards who tried a shot from a tight angle which Tony Roberts saved, before the Daggers defence cleared the danger.
A deflected long low ball into the area found Benson again on 17, but his first touch let him down and Veiga was able to collect easily.
Graeme Law cut out a low ball in from the right from Strevens on 24 for another visitors flag kick and Mark Arber struck for goal but saw his shot deflected away for another corner which was stopped by the referee for an infringement as Rainford headed the ball into the net.
Rainford stole the ball off Veiga as he half heartedly collected the ball in his area on 28, but thankfully and bizarrely it flicked up off the Dagger’s players boots as he went to go around him and back into the Lambs keepers hands.
The Lambs exerted pressure on the visitors defence around the half hour mark and Darryl Taylor saw his shot deflected away for a corner on 34 but it was punched clear by Roberts.
Although the visitors were perhaps looking stronger and assisted by a strong wind whipping down towards the clubhouse end of the ground, Tamworth were limiting them to searching balls and catching them offside or dealing with the threat capably.
Anwar Uddin did get a freekick in the right direction on 42 though but his low driven strike went wide of the far post from considerable distance and less than a minute later Benson volleyed over the bar ten yards out on the left of goal.
Atieno just failed to control a deflected Darryl Taylor ball into the danger area on 45 when a shot could well have opened the scoring while at the other end Benson headed over the bar from 8 yards from a long ball into the box.
But on 47 and a half minutes into the first half, Rainford finished with a left footed strike from the edge of the area to give his side a half time lead after The Lambs defence had failed to clear the danger.
Tamworth won a corner two minutes after the restart and Robers collected at height to deny an early equalizer and Edwards forced another flag kick on 48 which McGrath duly struck towards the box again. A melee in the area ensued from Adie Smith’s header but Dagenham cleared.
A shot from Scott Griffiths was cleared by a number of deflected blocks on 55 and n a bid to bring some pace to the wings Mills brought Ludo Quistin into the fray on 59.
Darryl Taylor crossed from the right on 60 and when the defensive header fell invitingly for Jake Edwards he tried a reverse volley at the far post but missed the target by just a couple of feet under pressure.
Quistin forced a Lambs corner on 65. There were shouts for handball in the box as Edwards flicked towards goal but it was a hopeful shout which the referee was perfectly placed to rule out.
Benson forced Veiga into a good stop on 68 with a shot on the turn in the area and Atieno got a shot away at the other end a minute later but struck wide of the near post from the right of the box.
Atineo, visibly struggling with a knock to his ankle was replaced by Jon Stevenson on 72 before McGrath struck over the bar on 74.
Law cleared a Benson shot off the line after good work by the visitors down the right on 81but there was no stopping Strevens on 82 who side footed home a similar low cross from the right. (0-2)
Benson then hit the cross bar with the next move of the game after beating Michael Briscoe for pace at the back and The Lambs cleared.
A Lambs corner was forthcoming on 88 and Edwards flicked header went towards the far post and looked to be going in but Sam Sloma cleared off the line and that was the last chance of the game as results around the league seemed to be sending Tamworth back into the drop zone.
McGrath, Smith A, Heslop (Quistin 59), Taylor D.
Friars, Bains, Briscoe, Law
Subs: Bampton, Ujah, Storer, Stevenson
Dagenham and Redridge
Sloma, Leberl, Rainford, Southam (Saunders 82)
Griffiths, Arber, Uddin, Foster
Subs: Vernazza, Moore, Taylor J., Eyre
Yellow Cards: Friars 90
Goals: Rainford 45+2, Strevens 82
Referee: Mr C Harwood (Mancs)
MOM: Graeme Law and John McGrath: As voted by J Clarke Transport, Tamworth Baptist Church and Tamworth Quality Services