Lambs beaten by Iron
01 September 2012
Tamworth made the trip to Cresswell Road to face Braintree for just the second time at their home ground, and Marcus Law welcomed Peter Till and Tom Marshall back to the side but was also able to bring in some new faces to help bolster the depleted squad, reflected by the appearance of Dale Belford on the bench.
Shaun Jeffers and Vinni Mukendi joined their team mates in the starting line up having arrived at The Lamb on one month loans from Coventry City and Barrow respectively while George Baldock and Michael Girvan were not available for the tie.
For Braintree, Sam Haberhgam lined up against his old club for the first time.
Tamworth eventually got the game underway (after the nets had been attended to) kicking towards the more populated terrace at the clubhouse end of the ground.
The ball made it's way to both keepers in the opening exchanges, promising and end to end encounter with the tall frame of Mukendi looking hungry up front alongside Cunnington and Jeffers slotting into the midfield alongside Kerry.
On 4 Oji blocked Sparkes shot and then Gash lifted a header over the bar from 8 yards out.
Kerry conceded a freekick just inside his own half on 5 for a tackle from behind on Davis and Breeden collected easily at height.
The home side won a corner on the right on 8 when Marshall blocked Holman's cross and Sparkes found Quinton ahead of the near post but his somewhat difficult header was way off target.
Tamworth enjoyed their first real spell of possession in the final third around the 12 minute mark but found it hard to break down the home defence.
But on 16 Till found Kerry in a central position and his shot on the half volley took a deflection past the left hand post for a corner on which was too high for everyone to get to and the ball wound it's way back to Breeden.
An one-two between Holman and Quinton on 18 brought an easy stop from Breeden following a low shot from 18 yards and Quinton floated the ball into the box for Holman on 20 but his header lifted high over the target from 15 yards.
Holman tried his luck from the edge of the box on 22 but it took a big deflection for a right sided corner and it was headed home from the left of the box by Gash with Kerry unable to prevent it's flight over his head into the top right corner. (0-1, 23 mins)
Peters threaded the ball down the right wing on 27 but Holman was unable to keep his feet to attack the goal and a minute later Kerry was booked for upending Sparkes in the centre circle and Braintree pushed on winning another corner which came to nothing.
A good break forward by Jeffers brought a fine save from Naisbitt on 30 but Cunnington was quick to the rebound on the left of the box and sent the ball towards the open goal but the keeper recovered very quickly and cleared the danger as the travelling faithful tried to draw it into the net!
Then Barrow unleashed a left footed shot from 25 yards which went a whisker over the target with Naisbitt at full stretch.
Kerry was pulled back as he tried to advance into the final third on 35 allowing Barrow and Till to line up the freekick and although the latter's ball came back out, Till received it back before it came across the box for Cunnington to equalize with a low right footed shot into the bottom left hand corner. (1-1, 37 mins)
Braintree tried to get their noses back in front from a corner on 39 but Breeden was pushed and the home side left frustrated.
Handball against an in rushing Barrow was given, setting up a freekick 25 yards out in the left channel on 42 and the Lambs player was yellow carded for his misdemeanor before Quinton struck his deadball into the wall.
Barrow's left sided ball into the box was headed away for a left sided corner on 44 and Till found Oji but his header went off target past the far post.
one minute added time was shown as Braintree went on the attack from a freekick, and Tamworth countered, but Tait's ball was easy for Naisbitt to take.
At the other end, Breeden punched a powerful drive from Peters away shortly before the whistle blew.
Braintree got proceedings underway for the second half and an early ball from Tait found Cunnington a yard off side as he looked to go through one on one.
As in the first half, play switched to the other end quickly and Braintree won a corner on the left when Tait blocked the cross and Breeden caught it un hindered.
Cunnington went down under an innocuous challenge a few yards from the edge of the box on 49 but recovered without the aid of the magic sponge.
However, Symons challenge on Jeffers did win The Lambs a freekick 25 yards out in a central position on 52 and Barrow lined it up and drove it straight through the wall at Naisbitt who smothered it.
Marshall lost the ball on the edge of the box on 54 and Sparkes chipped into the area for Gash to head towards goal but watched it land on the top of the net with Breeden at full stretch.
A long ball forwards was judged to have been handled in the box as Oji and Gudger went for the ball with Braintree also closed down, giving Davis a chance from the penalty spot but it was very poor and Breeden saved it but was booked for moving before the kick had been taken. So Davis retook it and Breeden saved again but Holman slotted the rebound into t he bottom left corner from 18 yards. (1-2, 59 mins).
Law made his first change on 64, bringing Collins on for Mukendi and changing the formation accordingly.
Jeffers tried his luck with a 25 yard shot from the left on 69 but it was easy for Naisbitt while at the other end Breeden protected himself from a rasping close range angled shot in from the left of the box from Sparkes, doing enough to concede a corner which he gathered easily.
Marshall was on hand at the near post on the right of the box twice to deny low balls going inside the post on 71 and when it came back for Gash to head at goal Breeden was perfectly positioned to catch the bouncing effort.
On 78 Jeffers tried another shot from a similar position to his earlier one and forced a save from Naisbitt this time which Collins chased down but was unable to cut the ball back under pressure in the right of the area.
As Braintree advanced up field Oji pulled up and waved a possible hamstring pull bringing Courtney (for Till) and Llado (for Oji) into the game for the final ten or so minutes.
Tamworth worked hard down both wings to get the ball in the final third as the clocked ticked down but Braintree were equally determined and Holman beat the close attention of both Tait and Barrow until Breeden was in sight and was able to gather the loose ball.
Jeffers threaded ball into the area from the right wing on 87 found Cunnington but he was unable to get a shot away before the chance was gone.
At the other end, on 89, sub Mulley found fellow sub Dawkin in space on the edge of the box and with just Breeden to beat put his side footed shot over the bar while Llado tried an angled shot from the left and saw it roll out past the far post.
Four minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and Holman flashed a shot from the right of the box out past the left hand post, and then Breeden was forced to leave his area and head danger away as Braintree won a corner and the final whistle blew.
LAMBS TV: Unforutnately we have not been able to obtain any footage of the game to bring you this time.
Tony BREEDEN (GK), Richard TAIT (c), Tom MARSHALL, Adam CUNNINGTON, Lloyd KERRY, Shaun JEFFERS, Connor GUDGER, Peter TILL (Duane COURTNEY 79), Scott BARROW, Sam OJI (Jan LLADO 79), Vinni MUKENDI (Charlie COLLINS 64)
Subs: Jorden IVEY-WARD, Dale BELFORD (GK)
Braintree Town Team:
Danny NAISBITT (GK), Ryan PETERS, Sam HABERGHAM, Adam BAILEY-DENNIS, Brad QUINTON, Nicky SYMONS, Kenny DAVIS (James MULLEY 79), Danny SPARKES (Josh DAWKIN 74), Michael GASH (Sean MARKS 90), Dean WELLS, Danny HOLMAN
Subs: Nathan McDONALD (GK), Matt PAINE
Referee: J. Amey