Hardwork and passion brings a point.
11 March 2006
Tamworth welcomed Cambridge United to The Lamb for the first time with just one aim – three vital league points. Dave Bampton and Adie Smith were both suspended and the squad would also be without Paul Merson who sensationally retired from playing football after just one game for Mark Cooper’s side.
Cooper was down to the bare bones with no players left out that could possibly take their place including Kyle Storer who came back from his loan spell at Hinckley to take his place in the starting eleven.
Both sets of fans gave players a vociferous welcome to The Lamb and an early chance came Tamworth’s way with just 2 minutes on the clock. Graham Ward collected the ball and passed for Dominic Roma to whip in a cross for Danny Davidson. But instead of going for the header Davidson tried to control the ball and the chance went begging.
But Cambridge took the lead on 5 minutes through Craig Westcarr who slotted his shot under Sean Bowles after an incisive ball through the centre of the Tamworth defence by Jon Brady. (0-1)
Cambridge won a corner on 8 after Matt Redmile cut out Courtney Pitt’s drive at Bowles from the left of the area but wasted the flag kick.
Tamworth deservedly equalized on 12 through Alan Nielsen who powered home Carl Hegg’s back post header from Graham Ward’s cross after sustained Lambs pressure. (1-1)
Continuing in the same vein, Carl Heggs saw a header easily taken by Scott Howie shortly after as Cooper’s side battled for every ball.
Heggs made a surging run under pressure on 25 and tried a shot at goal but the chance curled agonizingly over the crossbar from 15 yards, and then Davidson headed over a Tommy Johnson cross from the left.
As the half went on Tamworth continued to show the passion and commitment that had been missing in previous games. They tackled hard and defended strongly and although Cambridge threatened on a handful of occasions Alan Neilson stood out amongst the Lambs midfield alongside youngster Kyle Storer and the experienced Heggs.
Redmile blasted Heggs’ centre wide of the mark on 47 and Neilson did the same shortly after as The Lambs showed no fear coming forward.
Davidson watched in agony as his header from Storer’s corner deflected narrowly wide on 52 and Johnson tried a speculative effort from 20 yards but it rose over the crossbar unhindered.
Davidson was involved again on 56 flicking a header on for Johnson but the former Celtic striker couldn’t control his turn on the ball and Howie collected.
And Tamworth had a seemingly blatant penalty appeal turned down on 69 when substitute Mark Peters stopped the bounce of a through ball reaching Johnson with an outstretched arm but referee Mr Hewitt of Scarborough waved play on and the danger was cleared immediately.
Johnson shot narrowly wide on 74 from 18 yards with Howie beaten but happy to watch as it trickled past the far upright as The Lambs continued to pressurize before Redmile almost shot his side in the proverbial foot after all their hard work with a defensive header on 74 which almost beat Bowles but thankfully for Cooper’s men it also went wide of the post.
Johnson looped a shot over the bar from 18 yards on 77 and when Tamworth won a freekick on the edge of the area following a handball on 79, Howie tipped Ward’s set piece strike over the bar but the subsequent corner was wasted.
A tenth Lambs corner came on 87 minutes but for all their hardwork going forward, Tamworth couldn’t find a shooting opportunity.
Two minutes added time at the end of the game saw both sides pushing for a winner and Kyle Storer came closest with a header at Howie from Heggs’ nod into the area.
Heggs, Neilson, Storer, Ward
Stamps, Redmile (Starosta 86), Folkes, Roma
Subs: Summerbee, Jackson, Dryden, Breedon
Pitt, Wolleaston, Porter (Hanlon 59), Brady
Jaszczun, Duncan, Bloomer, Gleeson (Peters 59)
Subs: Morrison, Davies, Onibuje
Goals: Westcarr 5, Neilson 12
Yellow Cards: Peters 82
Red Cards: none
MOM: As voted by match sponsors: Dr Moosa, Hanson Building Products and The Royal Oak Polesworth: Matt Redmile and Carl Heggs