Lambs fightback to preserve on the road record
26 December 2008
Lambs boss Gary Mills was forced to make a change from the side that had defeated Droylsden in the preivous game, with Chris Smith being forced to watch from the stands nursing a sore groin. In his place, Craig McAughtrie lined up in thte back four and it was the returning defender that got The Lamb back on track after Hinckley had taken a first half lead.
Neither side could get any purchase on the game in the opening encounters and it lasted well into the first half with both sets of fans becoming frustrated at the lack of goalmouth action on the field.
A few half chances had come both side's way but it looked like the Christmas turkey was getting the better of both teams.
McAughtrie headed over a Pritchard cross early on as Tamworth started on top and it took Hinckley about 10 minutes to get the ball anywhere near Danny Alcock's area.
On 21 Tom Shaw sent in a right footed corner which Michael Wylde failed to connect with and when Martin Foster fed Alex Rodman on 24 the latter hit his half volley over the top of the high roofed stand behind the goal.
Coupled with a lot of stoppages in play for niggly tackles that perhaps didn't always warrant a break in play, and with Hinckley repeatedly playing their offside card to thwart Tamworth the game became very disjointed.
Then on 40 Tamworth won a freekick on the right of the field. However the ball was booted clear by the home defence and Andy Hall sprinted with it from the half wayline passing Graeme Law and McAughtrie en route to goal before firing past Alcock to give his side the lead at the break. (0-1, 40 mins)
In the second half a rejunvenated Lambs side took the game to their hosts and just as the Tamworth bench was getting ready to make a double substitution Rodman hit a low shot which Chris MacKenzie couldn't hold and McAughtrie was the quickest to sweep home the rebound for the equaliser (1-1, 69 mins)
Hinckley kicked off but The Lambs soon regained possession and a perfect right wing cross from Nick Wright was headed powerfully in by Sheldon despite MacKenzie's best efforts to keep it out (2-1, 71 mins)
By now Tamworth were proving too much for the home side although they did not give up and caused a few problems without actually causing Alcock to make a save.
Neil Cartwright then took to the field for Hinckley and took the plaudits for making his mark with his record breaking appearances tally but it was the Lambs fans who were celebrating shortly after.
As a gaping whole appeared on the right of the Hinckley area as Tamworth pushed forward from their own corner and Wylde sent in an almost perfect curling ball to the feet of Shaw who, unmarked at the back post, fired low into the net with a right footed strike to make sure of the points. (3-1, 83 mins)
Emeka Nwadike flicked a late header onto the roof of the Tamworth net late on, but nothing was going to stop The Lambs from remaining top of the league, or unbeaten on the road so far this season.
Alcock, Burgess, Law, McAughtrie, Wylde, Foster, Wright (Morrison 90), Shaw, Sheldon, Rodman (Birley 83), Pritchard (Y/C 67)
Subs: Sheridan, Lyttle, Melbourne
Hinckley United Team:
MacKenzie, Roma, Franklin (Bonner 86), Nwadike, Plantauer, Birch, Hall, Gooding, Bailey (Webster 55), Taylor, Giddings (Cartwright 79)
Subs: McIlwain, Pollard
Referee: Mr Smith (Chesterfield)