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Lambs and Wood share the spoils

FT: Walsall Wood 1    1 Tamworth

25 August 2020

Tamworth travelled the short distance to Oak Park to take on Darren Byfield’s Step 5 side, along with his assistants and former Lamb players Duance Courtney and Peter Till, in their next pre-season friendly as high winds and occasional driving rain battered the country.

The Lambs in all green got the game underway attacking the Shaw End of the ground immediately looking for the runs of O’Connor in his first run out in a Tamworth shirt.
Tamworth were forced to defend strongly on 7 as the Walsall forwards worked the ball around well, 30 yards from goal.
On 12, more pressure from the home side at the Osborne End, but the Walsall Wood number 5 skies his shot high over the Ron Tranter Stand from 30 yards without the assistance of the wind.
Wilder was called upon to put in a telling sliding tackle on 14 to deny the incoming Walsall Wood number 7.
Forde caught the Wood number 5 on the halfway line on 19 and conceded a freekick and earned himself a talking to from the referee and when play resumed the dead ball came to nothing for the home side.
On 28 the Lambs had a goalden opportunity after a good run by Waite down the left but his cut back couldn’t be finished by Yafai or O'Connor and then a Yafai header struck the bar and went down towards the line but was cleared away by the keeper, according to the linesman on the far side, without crossing the line.
Waite’s shot on 32 took a deflection out for a corner on the right which was flicked on towards the far post and allowed Magunda to redirect it inside the woodwork to break the deadlock (1-0, 33 mins)
A freekick on the edge of the D was awarded against Forde on 41 and set up Wood’s number 4 with the dead ball which would have beaten Singh had it been a few feet more accurately struck in the final action of the half.

HT: Walsall Wood 0    1 Tamworth

During the interval the heavens opened and The Lambs made three changes before the home side got the second half underway.
The home number 9 had the first chance after the restart, picking up the ball on the left of the box before seeing his shot take a deflection past the far post for a corner, which came to nothing.
At the other end on 55 Tonks struck low with a driven effort past the left hand upright from distance.
A deep corner from the right forced the home keeper to leap and push it out for another corner on the left but that was hoofed away by the defence.
Trickery from Walters on the hour saw him launch a left sided cross into the box, but the wind got the better of it and prevented Waite from connecting.
Play continued though and Yafai was upended on the edge of the D in front of the Ron Tranter stand setting up Waite with the dead ball which smashed into the wall.
Tamworth made three further changes to make it six in total, on 62 and the high winds continued to play havoc with the ball above head height.
The final two changes were made with 19 to play leaving just three on that started, while the home side brought their number 9 back onto the field of play.
Yafai made mincemeat of the Wood defence on 79 but his final ball was cleared before one of his teammates could get a shot away.
A penalty was awarded to the home side on 80 when Rowe-Turner misjudged his tackle on the number 17 going away from goal in the left corner of the box and on 81 the same player took the kick and drew scores level with a placed strike from the penalty spot under the dive of Singh (1-1).
A deep right sided cross form the Wood number 2 was nearly met by 17 at the far post, but Singh was happy to let it go out and Tamworth tried to build from the back as the final five minutes came into view.
Parker whipped the ball in from the right and Yafai slid into the box with the keeper brave at his feet to deny him on 87 and a foul on Parker set up Fitzgerald with a freekick on the right wing on 89.
His left footed in swinger was over hit though and target man Yafai was unable to get close to it and the final whistle blew.

Tamworth Team:

Singh, trialist, Wilder (Tait 62), Fry (Fitzgerald 62), Magunda (Gough 62), Cullinane-Liburd (Rowe-Turner 71), Miekle (Tonks HT), Forde (Walters HT), Yafai, O’Connor (trialist HT), Waite (Parker 71)

Subs: all used

Walsall Wood Team:
[unknown]

Attendance: 50

Man of the Match: [[unknown]

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