Lambs fall off Shield in final minute at The Pirelli
22 December 2007
Tamworth locked horns with rivals Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium for the ‘live on Setanta’ encounter and although Dave Bampton, Adie Smith and Dominic Langdon sat out injured alongside Jose Veiga, Craig McAughtrie, who was recovering from an ankle knock, declared himself fit and came back into the starting eleven while Anthony Robinson replaced Nick Wright from Tuesday’s win at Hucknall.
After an interview with Tammy prior to kick off the cameras switched their focus onto the field of play and a half chance fell to Chris Nurse on 2. Gareth Sheldon sent a ball across the face of goal from the right wing but Nurse missed his shot.
Jonti Richter then sent a shot from the left channel over the bar and into the viciferous travelling faithful behind the goal and Richter set Matt Williams free on 6 only for the Lambs striker to be denied by Kevin Poole as he went through one on one.
Philip Palethorpe was called into action for the first time on 8 via a low Shaun Harrad shot from the edge of the area before Richter cleared the bar again on 10 with a right foot volley from 18 yards.
Dave Farrell made a bursting run down the left and fired into the box on 12 but The Lambs cleared only for Burton to build again and Keith Gilroy missed the target by just a foot or so with a rising shot from 25 yards.
As boss Gary Mills was being interviewed from the touchline, Gilroy’s shot in side the area appeared to have crept in at the near post following a deflection off Michael Briscoe on 16 but it had in fact gone inches wide and into the side netting and then Robinson totally missed the target at the other end when well placed from the counter attack.
Ex-Lambs John McGrath broke the deadlock on 29 with a perfectly struck freekick from 25 yards which curled from the left to the right hand side of the goal and went past Palethorpe’s despairing dive (0-1)
Andy Corbett was given far too much time and space to get a shot away on 35 but was way off target while Tamworth tried to get quickly back in to the game.
Marcus Ebdon saw a low shot charged down and Sheldon forced a corner on 40 but failed to create from the dead ball and from a loose ball on the edge of the area two minutes later Ebdon cleared the stand with a half volley.
Williams connected with a powerful right wing cross from Sheldon on 43 but had no chance of controlling the ball and it cannoned over the bar.
Robinson fired low to the far post shortly after only to be denied by Poole’s dive and Sheldon slipped at the vital moment as he shaped to shoot under pressure moments later.
In a moment of Burton pressure in added time, McGrath headed a right wing cross onto the near post from a yard out meaning Law had to whip the ball out of danger as it bounced back into the area.
An early Tamworth corner provided exactly what was required as Nurse rose highest to head home after less than a minute had been played in the second half (1-1) and kept the Lambs record of scoring in every TV game the club had featured in.
Substitute Darren Stride flashed a shot wide of the mark on 52 from Tony James’ ball through the Tamworth back four.
McGrath denied a good run from Richter on 56 when it looked like the Australian would got a shot at Poole but had the ball nipped off his toes by the Irishman.
Harrad finished as well worked Brewers move on down the left wing 61 but also missed the target with his effort before Mills made a straight swap bringing Nick Wright on for Williams.
Palethorpe denied Farrell with a one handed effort which McAughtrie then cleared from danger on 64.
A great ball through from Nurse fed Wright on 71 and gave him a shooting chance, but his left foot effort was tame at Poole
Nurse and Sheldon tried their luck as The Lambs kept pushing forward but the Burton threat was definitely still evident with 15 minutes to go.
Albion sub Marc Goodfellow sent a low right footed effort into the arms of Palethorpe on 80 as both sides hoped for a winner to prevent extra time.
Brayford shot for goal and was pulled back in the process on 82 giving the home side a freekick which McGrath failed to hit the target with.
Richter’s through ball to Robinson found him just a few feet offside with six to go after goods work from McAughtrie had cleared Brewers pressure
However, Harrad almost won the game in the 86th minute with a chipped shot that struck the far post before Wright forced a point blank save from Poole at the other end as Tamworth immediately countered.
Nurse escaped a second yellow card for the second time in two games after a foul on Michael Simpson, but from it, Aaron Webster headed home in the 89th minute from close range after the Lambs failed to deal with the dead ball. (1-2)
2 minutes added time gave Tamworth a last ditch chance to get something from the tie, but a half chance for Robinson would not fall and the home side went into the hat for the next round.
Poole, Corbett, Webster, Greaves (Stride HT), James, McGrath, Gilroy (Goodfellow 77), Harrad, Brayford, Farrell, Simpson
Subs: Holmes, Austin, Deeney
Palethorpe, Lyttle, Law, Briscoe, McAughtrie, Ebdon, Richter, Nurse, Robinson, Williams (Wright 62), Sheldon (Sheridan 82)
Subs: Boothe, Bains, Seal
Yellow Cards: Law 30
Referee: J Waugh