Tamworth returned to league action and Marcus Law made one change to the side that defeated Lincoln with Charlie Collins dropping to the bench and Adriano Moke kept his spot in the starting eleven as the Lambs looked to record their first home league win since 22 Sept against the side they defeated on the opening day of the season.
With the sun dropping low behind the Castle End terracing, Tamworth kicked off the match ‘into the light' and the visiting fans, on their first visit to The Lamb with their team, burst into song. A foul on Kelly brought a wasted right sided freekick on 3 but play stayed down at that end of the pitch and Moke struck for goal forcing Bettinelli into a good stop, pushing the ball over the bar for a corner which came to nothing. Moke put a dangerous ball into the box from the right on 8 but Cunnington was unable to flick it on for Baldock, advancing through the middle of the box. Moke and Kelly combined to unleash Cunnington in the right channel on 9 and he forced Bettinelli into a stop at his near post with a low driven shot and from the corner Oji was booked when he and the keeper tangled. Dartford then enjoyed a spell of possession and won a corner on the left from which Kelly broke and fed Baldock who found Moke on the left wing and Tamworth took control again. Barrow hit a low shot from the left of the box but saw it cleared by the Dartford defender on the near post on 15 but it was Ajayi who opened the scoring on 16 with a dinked header over Severn from a left sided freekick. (0-1, 16 mins) On 22 Baldock struck from distance and Bettinelli had to adjust his feet quickly to get into the right position to gather the low bounce. Then on 26 Cunnington played Barrow down trhe left wing and his ball across the box was inches away from being connected to by Moke at the far post, but the chance went. Baldock struck from 25 yards on 27 but again, the chance was not close enough to trouble Bettinelli's goal although his shot dipped over the bar with the keeper at full stretch. On 31 it was Baldock again who caused problems for the visiting defence and this time his low shot from the left of the box was taken well by the keeper. As the game enter the final five minutes of the first half, Tamowrth continued to try and find a way back into the tie Kerry spotted an opening when Bettinelli strayed out of his area to the left but despite the on target effort it was easy enough for Champion to head away from danger 12 yards out. Dartford then won a corner on the left and Bonner headed towards goal but a combination of Severn and Tait cleared the ball away from going over the line. Ajayi then nodded the return ball wide of the far post with what would have been a well placed header. At the other end, Moke slid the ball to Cunnington but he couldn't prod it past the keeper as one minute added time was shown. Shortly before the whistle blow Bradbrook got his boot onto an overhead kick and brought a fine one handed stop from Severn, and Baldock was booked for a rash challenge in the final action of the half.
HT: Tamworth 01 Dartford
Dartford got the second half underway and The Lambs went in search of an equaliser but Barrow's cross from the left on 49 drifted over the bar and out of play. Wright replaced Cunnington in a straight swap up front on 51 and shortly after, Baldock saw his shot saved on the line and Barrow's follow up was cleared off the line before Moke blasted it towards the target and Bonner handballed it as it travelled under the bar so there was no surprise when the referee showed a straight red card and Barrow sent Bettinelli the wrong way from the penalty spot (1-1, 56 mins). Noble was booked for going in on Oji just before the hour mark and Till came on for Taylor, just after it. Barrow then made a darting run into the box and his shot appeared to be ‘well saved' by the defender on the floor but nothing was given and so Baldock struck from the right channel but missed the left hand post by a few feet. Tamworth were keeping the visitors penned back for long periods and Champion diverted a low cross from Baldock into the hands of his own keeper on 70 but play switched to the other end and Harris cut into the box from the left wing and curled his shot inside the far post to restore Dartford's advantage (1-2, 70 mins) Barrow floated a deep cross a whisker past the right hand post on 76 and Hendrie came into the fray a minute later. Moke twice found his route to goal blocked with subsequent shots from 18 yards on 79 and Wright struck from 25 yards on 82 forcing Bettinelli to tip the ball away and when Kelly was blocked as he ran into the area the referee awarded another penalty. Barrow lined up the spot kick and this time slotted it into the bottom right corner to level the tie once again (2-2, 85 mins) Barrow won a corner with deflected a driven shot on 88 and Tait hit for goal from the flag kick and then the roof came off The Lamb as Moke made a fine run down the left and Hendrie slotted home from close range at the left hand upright after the Dartford defence failed to clear the pressure. (3-2, 88 mins) Five minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and Bradbrook was booked for a late challenge on Kelly as the final minute came in to view and The Lambs played keep ball then duly celebrated when the whistle blew.
James SEVERN (GK), Richard TAIT (c), Marcus KELLY, George BALDOCK, Adam CUNNINGTON (Tommy WRIGHT 51), Lloyd KERRY (Lee HENDRIE 77), Duane COURTNEY, Scott BARROW, Sam OJI, Adriano MOKE, Greg TAYLOR (Peter TILL 61) Subs: Tony BREEDEN (GK), Charlie COLLINS
Marcus BETTINELLI (GK), Danny HARRIS, Ryan HAYES (Nathan COLLIER 58), Tom CHAMPION, Elliot BRADBROOK (c), Jacob ERSKINE (Harry CRAWFORD 72), Richard ROSE, Semi AJAYI, Lee BURNS, Tom BONNER, Lee NOBLE (James ROGERS 90) Subs: Jon WALLIS, Adam GREEN