Frustration as Lambs fall and miss a penalty on the way
27 January 2007
Tamworth welcomed back Gary Mills to the Lamb and he wasted no time in getting back into to hot seat putting himself back into the thick off it with the visit of Crawley Town - a big test as his ‘new’ squad looked to push away from the bottom of the league. It is Mills’ second spell at the Lamb and this is his 82nd game in charge in all competitions. His record to date: W45 D23 L13 F 157 A 82.
There were two changes to the team from Tuesday night’s draw with Welling with Emmett Friars being recalled from Hinckley in the place of an injured Adie Smith and John McGrath returning from suspension in the place of Matt Williams who took a seat on the bench.
The Lambs won a corner inside the first minute but McGrath’s flag kick was easily taken by Ben Hamer.
Mark Wright tried a long range effort from the left on 7 which Jose Veiga left to go just wide of his post.
Kyle Storer conceded a freekick 30 yards out on 8 which Ben Judge received short but his shot curled harmlessly over the bar.
A good move from the Lambs midfield on 12 ended with a short run and low shot from Jon Stevenson but it was easy for Hamer to collect.
Tamworth were playing at a furious pace and looked very attacking minded. Stevenson, Taiwo Atieno and Jake Edwards all looking hungry for the ball with Mills constantly shouting instructions from the sidelines as he quickly got to grips with his new squad, shuffling the formation around slightly as the minutes ticked by.
McGrath saw his free kick bundled wide on 29 but the resultant corner kick was wasted.
Appeals for handball against Crawley were waved away just past the hour mark and Atieno blasted a long range shot high and wide from distance as the ball ran free on the right.
Atieno latched onto a flick on from a long thrown from Laight on 37 but despite connecting well with the ball his thumping shot on the volley cleared the bar by a foot or two.
McGrath was allowed to played on when the linesman was flagging in the Tamworth half and managed to get a shot away but Woozley blocked his effort inside the area and Hamer collected.
Edwards picked up a yellow card on 44 following a reckless challenge on Woozley but the freekick had already been given to Tamworth , however Crawley regained possession broke down the other end a won a corner with 2 minutes added time to play at the end of the first half which ended goalless.
McGrath was obviously struggling at the start of the second half so Mills brought Jamie Price into the fray on 48 and Crawley made their second substitution of the game at the break with one-time Lamb Tony Scully taking to the field.
Price sent a searching ball in from the left wing on 53 which evaded Crawley’s last man, but Edwards was just too slow to connect and Hamer collected at his feet.
Crawley then took the lead on 54, Bulman put a low ball in through the Lambs defence and a deflected shot from Mark Wright caught Stevenson as he blocked and it lifted over Veiga’s despairing dive to give the visitors the edge (0-1)
Steve Evans fired a free kick wide of the left hand upright on 63 and Scully crossed from the left on 64 only for substitute Elliot Benyon to put the ball wide of the mark with a low shot from the edge of the area as the Lambs struggled to regain their momentum from the first half.
One former Crawley striker replaced another on 69 with Edwards being replaced by Steve Burton as Tamworth looked for more bite in attack
Stevenson tried a long range lob on 75 but it was easy for Hamer to collect and Atieno found the ball at his feet on 77 with a golden chance to equalize but the it stuck at his feet and was cleared.
Tamworth then won a penalty on 79 when a lively Burton fed Atieno in the area and as the ‘keeper tried to collect the referee pointed straight to the spot. Atieno stepped up and struck for goal but Hamer saved low to his left and Stevenson’s shot on the rebound was blocked.
Matt Williams replaced Stevenson with 6 to go but the visitors held strong and took the points back to Sussex.
Edwards (Burton 69), Atieno
McGrath (Price 48), Storer, Heslop, Stevenson (Williams 84)
Law, Friars, Weaver, Laight
Subs: Kemp, Belford (GK)
Blackman (Benyon 13), Rendell
Wright, Bulman, Evans, Judge (Scully HT)
Bull, Woozley, Okounghae, Hiley
Subs: Richardson, MacLeod, Tolfrey (GK)
Yellow Cards: Edwards 44, Benyon 74, Hamer 79
MOM as chosen by match sponsors Drive Assist and Hanson Building Products: Emmet Friars and Simon Weaver