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Lambs fall in the mud

FT: Tamworth 1    2 Brackley Town

06 February 2016

In the only remaining National North fixture of the afternoon, The Lambs welcomed joint second from bottom Brackley to The Lamb with the rain making the pitch very slippy and muddy as kick off approached. Boss Andy Morrell made two changes to the side that came back to record an valuable away point at Chorley with Davies out on loan, Green returned to the side after injury and following midweek injury to Clarke, Smith came into the starting eleven, off the bench.

The Lambs got the game underway, attacking the Meadow Street End in the first half. And an early foul by Mills allowed Durrell to fire a freekick from the half way line into the area, but it was too far ahead of Newton and went out for a goal kick.
The ball worked it’s way through to Green inside the third minute and his right footed shot curled up and into the grasp of Hornby. Belshaw was called into action around 6 when Brackley got the ball into the area and the keeper booted it clear a couple of times in quick succession in the increasingly wet conditions.
Newton sprinted through to stop the ball crossing the left hand by-line on 10 and curled a cross into the box for the keeper to take.
A freekick for the visitors from Clarke drifted into the area and Batchelor’s header was parried away by Belshaw.
A right sided corner from Brackley forced Belshaw to punch the ball away and Durrell advanced down the left wing, into the centre and forced Hornby to deflect, rather than save, the shot behind when it took a nasty bobble in front of him.
The corner came out to Green and his shot went for another on the right which was too long. Good movement into the box saw Newton fire low into the area and Durrell met the ball but was travelling too fast to do anything with it and Brackley escaped.
A shot from Clarke from 30 yards would have seen the opening goal on 28, but it went a foot over the bar with Belshaw stranded.
Newton was inches away from the right wing ball into the box from Taylor on 33 and Strong floated a cross over the corner of bar and post on 34.
On 39, Moyo beat the offside trap and advanced to the touch line before putting the ball into the danger area for Diggin to slide home the opening goal of the afternoon, at the far post (0-1, 39 mins)
And after a minute or so of added time at the end of the first half, The Lambs retired to the dressing room to dry down, warm up and formulate a plan for the second half.

HT: Tamworth 0    1 Brackley Town

Brackley restarted the game, with the rain coming down even harder than it did in the first half and on 49 half time sub Mettam got a header away but it was straight at Hornby.
On 50, Preston picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on the edge of the area that left Lowe needing treatment.
The freekick allowed Clarke to strike for goal, but he only managed to hit the advertising hoardings above the away end.
Preston was sent off on 56, picking up his second yellow for an unnecessary foul in front of the away dug out and the Lambs defender was heading to the tunnel before the card had been shown.
Lowe was given space and time to fire low at Belshaw on 63, and the keeper coped well in the mud to smother the shot. After an offside that was hotly disputed by the partisan crowd denied The Lambs a clear sight on goal, Fox replaced Taylor on 68.
Lowe nearly notched a close range finish on 74 when the ball got stuck in the mud by the near post but Fox cleared the danger well and The Lambs attacked, forcing a corner.
Fox played the ball through to Mettam and the keeper saved well on 75, but Mettam was unable to turn the ball home from the keeper’s parry.
Dyer nearly made a dream start but was unable to get his boot to a left wing cross into the box on 77 and Mettam was foiled by the bravery of Hornby on 80.
Deeney tried his luck from distance on 83 but shot wide of the right hand upright and on 84 Burns was booked for reacting to a Brackley player by his own corner flag.
The freekick from the left brought a good parried save from Belshaw at his near post and a corner for Brackley, which Belshaw gathered.
Brackley pushed forwards again and on 87 the visitors doubled their advantage when Diggin fired home from 12 yards after Lowe cut the ball back into the area. (0-2, 87 mins)
Mettam was brought down in the area in the 90th minute by English and Durrell duly dispatched the spot kick to reduce the arrears, before four minutes added time was shown.
A last ditch freekick was awarded 35 yards from goal and Mettam got the ball over the wall but also over the target and onto the sparsely populated Castle End terracing and the final whistle blew.

Tamworth Team:

Belshaw, Burns, Taylor (Fox 68), Deeney, Tomassen, Preston, Durrell, Smith (Mettam HT), Newton (Dyer 76), Green, Strong
Subs: Heaton, Moulton

Yellow: Preston 50 +56 = red 56, Burns 84
Red: (Preston 56)

Brackley Town Team:

Hornby, English, MacDonald, Clarke, Slade, Mills, Lowe, Walker, Moyo (Smith 88), Diggin, Batchelor
Subs: Morley, Marsden, Graham, Winters

Yellow: English 78, MacDonald 90
Red: none

Attendance: 406

Man of the Match: San Giovanni chose Steve Tomassen

Referee: Mr. T. Brammall

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