Lambs back on track
20 December 2008Droylsden took a break from FA Cup ties to visit The Lamb for the first time as Gary Mill’s Lambs looked to get back to winning ways in the BSN after their first defeat in 15 league games in their last outing.
With on going injuries ruling out Des Lyttle and Dominic Langdon Mills shuffled the back four somewhat with a ‘rare’ appearance for Graeme Law alongside Callum Burgess while Alex Melbourne and Craig McAughtrie took a place on the bench.
The Lambs also handed a debut to newly signed goalkeeper Danny Alcock who joined from Stafford Rangers during the week.
The Bloods kicked off the game with Tamworth attacking the Castle End.
Although the rain of the past few hours had now stopped, the pitch was heavy and cutting up under challenges but there was not a tackle to be seen as Rodman ran down the left, cut in and fired low into the near post to give Tamworth the lead on 7 for his eighth goal of the season. (1-0)
A slip by Pickford on 13 allowed Rodman to sprint through midfield but his ball found Sheldon offside when a goal scoring opportunity looked a certainty.
Smith then required treatment after visibly struggling and left the field but immediately returned in a bid to run off the knock.
Gray hit a dipping shot well wide of the mark from 20 yards after Alcock’s long punt forward was put straight back into the mixer on 16 and the same player put a weak low effort into the keeper’s arms on 17.
Shaw set up Sheldon to fire the ball across the face of goal from the right by-line on 18 but Rodman was unable to get a touch to make it count shortly after and Sheldon’s ball to Pritchard was cut out as he shaped to shoot from the edge of the area on 19 as The Lambs continued to look hungrily for a second goal.
At the other end Gray was just beaten to a bouncing ball into the area by Alcock who thwarted the Bloods attacker, catching the ball he could get a raised boot to it.
Former Rochdale striker Towson spun on the ball but was unable to get any real purchase on his effort on 23 and Smith was replaced by McAughtrie a minute later.
Towson struck for goal again on 24 but fired wide of the right hand post and Pritchard received a booking for a misdemeanour in the other half of the field in the build up.
A Lambs freekick, taken by Shaw on 28 was only just missed by the head of Pritchard.
Gray tried his luck, turning on the ball with his back to goal, from the edge of the area on 31 after a useful move by the visitors but fired wide, as did Sheldon who swept a right footed shot past the far upright from 20 yards on 31.
A late tackle from behind on Law earned Roche a booking on 34 but Shaw’s freekick went straight to Mawson.
Foster’s challenge on Pickford set up Droylsden with a freekick 35 yards out dead centre to goal on 39 but Tipton’s dead ball failed to threaten.
A flowing Lambs move involving four players was only halted by the offside flag on 43 and in the two added minutes at the end of the half, Tamworth won a corner.
Wylde got his head to Sheldon’s deep dead ball and forced Mawson to parry it out for another flag kick on the opposite side which was pushed to the half way line but made it’s way back for another corner.
However, the last one failed to trouble anyone before the whistle blew.
Bloods boss Dave Pace made a change at half time, bringing Brownhill on for Roche as Tamworth kicked off the second period.
On 53 Droylsden won a freekick on the left of the area which was puched to the right and Beck fired a shot in but it went high and wide and that was followed a second sub onto the field with Lamb replacing Tipton.
Wright fed a low ball into the feet of Pritchard and he fired low at goal from close range on 55 but the ball was cleared off the line by Newton after Mawson had managed to block the shot but it ran free and towards the line but didn’t have enough power to get across before the defender cleared.
Rodman then ended a productive passing move with a low shot past the left hand upright on 58.
Rodman saw another shot deflected off Ruffer and out past the far post for a corner on the hour.
With The Lambs now most controlling things, Townson felled Burgess on the half way to get his name in the book and the final change for the visitors came shortly after.
Pickford became the third Droylsden player to go in the book on 66 following a (rubgy) tackle on Rodman.
Tamworth were definitely showing their mettle and were searching for a second goal which should wrap things up, but the final ‘perfect’ ball seemed to be escaping them despite some good play out of midfield.
That was, until the 73rd minute when Pritchard completed a move he started on the half way line with a fine finish past Mawson after a good one two with Wright set him up (2-0, 73 mins)
Alcock rose to take a Bloods corner on 78 after being a spectator for most of the second half while Sheldon was continuing to look for a goal and just clear the far corner of post and bar on 79 with a curling right foot effort from the right wing.
At the other end Towson found himself with some space in the box but cleared the target.
Wright was then shown the yellow card for protesting what appeared to be a stone wall Lambs throw on 81 and on 83 the visitors won another corner but when Towson received the ball he shot wildly off target.
Lambs sub Lea almost robbed Mawson as the keeper tried to clear on 86.
Referee Mr Smallwood got in on the action on 88 with a great stop in the middle of the park but was unable to keep his feet and took the applause from the crowd with the humour it was given to lighten proceedings with a raised arm in recognition of his skills!
Three minutes time was shown at the end of the game but there was no further action and the final whistle blew on a deserved three points.
Alcock, Burgess, Law, Smith (McAughtrie 23), Wylde, Foster, Wright (Lea 84), Shaw, Sheldon, Rodman, Pritchard
Subs: Sheridan, Birley, Melbourne
Mawson, Roache (Brownhill HT), Newton, Byron, Ruffer, Sorvel, Beck (Tandy 63), Pickford, Tipton (Lamb 54), Gray, Towson
Subs: Brown, Halford
Man of the Match: Alex Rodman and Graeme Law
Referee: Mr. Smallwood (Northwich)