Daniels returns to inspire Lambs to Brake the barren spell
FT: Tamworth 32 Leamington
11 April 2015
With three games of the season remaining and following the Lambs third defeat on the bounce and third game without a goal Andy Morrell made three changes as his side welcomed The Brakes to Tamworth for their first competitive fixture (in their current guise). Brendon Daniels returned to the side after his lengthy ban (to face the same referee who sent him off at North Ferriby) while Josh Sampson and Phil Trainer took spots ahead of Kevin Thornton and Chris Smith while Dom Smith was no longer available after returning to Shrewsbury after being recalled. Leamington came into the game needing the points to help them retain their Conference North status as the relegation zone threatened them with the drop, while if Tamworth were to keep their play off hopes alive they would have to pick up three points and hope things went their way elsewhere too.
Tamworth got the game underway, attacking the Castle End in the first half and immediately won a freekick on the left wing which Daniels smashed in the box and Newton cleared for a corner by the clubhouse. Daniels took the flag kick and Clarke got a glancing downward header away which fooled visiting keeper Maddison and he was unable to prevent the ball bouncing up and into the roof of the net for the opening goal of the game. A freekick in a similar position was awarded on7 and Leamington's Magunda headed it off his own bar for a corner which Hibbert got his head but directed wide. Leamington’s Chilton stole behind the defence on 9 but was unable to get his foot onto the bouncing ball that was dropping invitingly for him. The Lambs doubled their advantage on 12 when Hibbert crossed low from the right and Jackson flicked the ball on towards the far post for Adams to side foot home at the far post for his first goal in a Lambs shirt. (2-0, 12 mins) Former Lamb Moore forced a corner off James on 23 and Newton headed over the bar from 18 yards out. Another freekick, another Daniels effort this time from mid way into the Leamington half on 26 but the visitors broke quickly and Trainer stuck out a boot to deny a left sided shot from Moore. Chilton’s long drive was blocked well by Sampson on 27 but the Brakes found a way through the defence on 28 when a bouncing ball from the left was not dealt with and captain Newton stole in to finish the chance from a yard out. (2-1, 28 mins) Purdie nearly found Clarke for his second on 35 but the low ball in was nipped away from his toes by the Leamington defence and cleared. A niggly foul set yup Taundry with a right footed freekick on 38 and it went just wide of the right hand upright with Belshaw at full stretch. Daniels forced another clubhouse sided corner on 40 and Clarke headed it towards goal for Jackson to chase down but the referee was having none of the penalty claim when the Lambs played tumbled to the ground. Jackson chased the ball down on the edge of the box on 42 and it appeared that Maddison left his area but the linesman apparently failed to spot it. At the other end a top drawer save from Belshaw denied Leamington’s Newton his second of the afternoon on 43. Former Lamb Connor Gudger hit a great shot from 25 yards but watched it come back off the far post so the score remained 2-1 in added time at the end of the half.
HT: Tamworth 21 Leamington
Leamington restarted proceedings and Belshaw was called into action again as saving with his feet to deny Goddard on 49 and from the corner Mace missed the target with a free header. Newton crossed from the right on 51 and Gordon’s diving header looked good for a goal but it went wide of the right hand upright and the Lambs escaped. Hibbert and Daniels found their attempts to turn and shot in the box blocked on 56 while at the other end an inability to put their foot on the ball saw the ball run to Newton whose shot from the edge of the area rose over the bar but he really shouldn’t have been given the time or space to get the shot away. A corner shortly afterwards caused The Lambs some problems and Morrell made the first change of the game on the hour. A foul on 62 by Taylor set up Taundry with a dead ball and Belshaw saved the shot from Mace at his near post with his feet. Mettam came on for Jackson on 66 and he made it 3-1 on 72 with a low drive from 25 yards that came back off the post and in off the keeper. A back pass in the Leamington area didn’t really give Tamworth much of a chance when the wall advanced and quickly blocked it. Styche tried his luck when an opening presented itself on 81 but his dipping effort went over the bar and with the clock ticking down Newton added his second of the afternoon with a low strike from 18 yards on the left of the box to set up a tense finish. Belshaw denied substitute Worsford with a fine blocking save from 12 yards in added time and the final whistle eventually blew on three points to The Lambs.
Belshaw, Purdie, Sampson, James, Trainer, Adams, Green (c.) (Taylor 60), Clarke, Jackson (Mettam 66), Hibbert (Styche 73), Daniels
Subs: Thornton, Wilkins
Maddison, Mace, Gudger, Magunda (Worsford 76), Edwards, Gordon, Chilton, Taundry, Moore (Yafai 83), Goddard, Newton