Early goal decides league tie
16 February 2010
Gary Mills' took his side to The Raymond McEnhill Stadium for part one of the double header against Salisbury City on a cold but dry then wet Tuesday night and made a number of tactical changes to his side with the FA Trophy Quarter final tie on Saturday in mind - as did Salisbury.
Des Lyttle and Gavin Hurren came into the side to make ‘rare' appearances in the starting eleven while Michael Blackwood, Chris Smith, Bradley Pritchard, Tom Shaw and Iyseden Christie all took a place on the bench.
Tamworth found themselves a goal down after just 2 minutes at the Raymond McEnhill when a corner from Sinclair found it's way through to Cox who side footed home from 6 yards out. (0-1, 2 mins)
The home side continued to make more than a nuisance of themselves and Gray found himself with just Alcock to beat on 14 and with the Tamworth keeper off his line he tried a lob but saw his effort curl wide of the left hand upright.
After Wylde had had a goal disallowed for a foul on 17, Bittner made a good stop to deny MacKenzie on 20 following an incisive through ball.
Wylde put in a good tackle to deny Sinclair a shot on goal on 24 from a chip over the top which fell kindly for the Salisbury man.
And on 27 Gray made space down the right channel to fire a low shot across goal which Alcock dived to push away but Salisbury kept possession missing two shots inside the area with air shots before The Lambs cleared.
Tait picked up a yellow card for a tackle on Sinclair inside the Salisbury half on 30 and the furious pace of the game continued with the home side have the majority of possession and half chances.
The game then became much of a midfield and defensive battle with little to choose between the two at all.
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the half and Hurren was unable to control the quick ball to the byline as Bittner rushed out to meet him and Hurren fed Jay Smith to have a shot at goal, for Bittner to put behind for a corner shortly before the half time whistle blew.
Tamworth started the second half kicking towards the open end of the ground and Murdock struck an early effort wide of the mark from 18 yards.
At the other end Gray hit a half volley wide of the right hand post from 20 yards and Salisbury's Sinclair worked hard to try and get the ball off Tait by the right corner eventually winning a couple of throw ins which Tamworth dealt with sufficiently.
A foul on Sinclair 20 yards out was conceded by Jay Smith earning himself a booking on 56 and set up the Salisbury player to push wide to Adelsbury to strike from distance in a rehearsed move, but his shot was far off target.
Alcock came out of his comfort zone to clear the danger down the Salisbury left wing on 58 and Tamworth kept possession for a while, but were unable to make any headway towards Bittner's goal.
Mills' made two changes just passed the hour, bringing Pritchard and Shaw into the fray, buut it wea Wylde's wayward pass that allowed Connolly to put Gray in on goal which Alcock was quick enough to deal with and then Connolly won a corner on the left via a crunching tackle from Briscoe inside the area.
Salisbury kept the ball but Gray wasted the final ball and Salisbury made a change.
After Murdock had not been awarded anything when seemingly held back as he tried to turn his man, the home side broke down the left and Gray cut in to fire a shot at goal which cleared the bar from 30 yards.
A great move out of midfield saw Jay Smith push the ball to Murdock who in turn cut it left to Sheridan but Bittner was well placed to block his shot and Smith made way for Christie when the ball went out of play.
Then, on 78 Sheridan whipped a low shot into the box from the right which evaded the lunges of everyone and took a touch out for a left sided corner which Bittner collected easily.
After a few minutes of The Lambs pushing forward a slip by Tait in the centre circle allowed the home side to get the ball back but their spell of possession was halted by a freekick.
However, Alcock's long ball came straight back to him and when his low pass out went wrong Gray shot over the bar and then Flood, in the next move, found the Lambs keeper in fine form to deny him as he burst through one on one.
Murdock picked up a yellow card on 85 for a foul in the Salisbury half looking for a ball forward.
Tamworth did get the ball towards goal on 87 as Lyttle received a pass back from Lake-Gaskin on the right of the box, but the former's chip was dealt with by Bittner at his near post.
A foul on Christie inside the centre circle on 88 allowed Shaw to put the ball into the box but with 10 men behind the ball Salisbury inevitably cleared the danger.
From a throw on the left, Alcock tried to pass to Tait on the other side of the field but put the ball short with a wayward pass which Tait scampered back to recover and five minutes added time was shown.
Salisbury won a corner on the right with two minutes of the five gone but gave it away and Christie found his way blocked at the other end as the seconds ticked down.
Alcock came up for a late Lambs corner on the right on 95and put the ball into the box from the left wing but found his team mates offside.
And in the final action of the game, sub Flood was booked for kicking the ball away a few seconds before the final whistle blew.
Alcock, Tait, Wylde, MacKenzie (Pritchard 61), Hurren (Shaw 61), Murdock, Sheridan, Lyttle, Briscoe, Smith J, Lake-Gaskin
Subs: Blackwood, Smith C, Christie
Salisbury City Team:
Bittner, Clohessy, Ruddick, Sinclair, Clarke, Adelsbury, Gray (Osman 83), Connolly (Flood 66), Cox, Giles, Bull
Subs: Tubbs, Bush, Pryce
Referee: Mr. M. Amphlett