Lambs go Wylde as status is secured
20 April 2010
Tamworth made the journey to London for their penultimate match of the season and a debut appearance at Kingsmeadow the joint home of Kingstonian and opponents, Terry Brown's 8th placed fans club, AFC Wimbledon.
Although mathematically possible it was extremely unlikely that Eastbourne Borough would be able to overtake The Lambs given all the possible permutations with a 20 odd goal difference needing to be overturned and every team around Tamworth needing to win their final matches on Saturday to deny Gary Mills' side a place in the Blue Square Premier next season. Although a victory against Wimbledon would make Saturday a day where the players could relax, the weekend's opponents Ebbsfleet would be out to record a win with their league survival also at stake and depending on results elsewhere.
After Saturday's disappointing defeat at Crawley, Mills' made five changes to the side with MacKenzie taking the captains armband as Chris Smith recovered from illness.
Prior to kick off leading goalscorer, with 25, Danny Kedwell received a number of awards and the small contingent of travelling Lambs fans were hoping that it was the only celebrating he would be doing on the evening.
Tamworth got proceedings underway, and the game started at a quick pace, with the home side getting best of the early exchanges and forcing The Lambs to clear a bouncing ball in the area.
On 2 MacKenzie fired a right sided freekick into the area which Mitchell rose highest to head but glanced it well off target.
Pressure by Wimbledon was cleared away but they worked the ball back forward again only for Godfrey to completely miss the target with a weak shot from distance.
Alcock left his area to clear off the toes of Kedwell on 5 at the other end on 7, Pritchard forced the ball past the last defender and Wright stole in to lift it over Turner, but also cleared the cross bar from 12 yards.
Kedwell forced a right sided corner on 9 which Wellard struck left footed onto the head of Johnson but his aim was wayward and he cleared the low stand behind the goal.
Pritchard tried his luck with a low effort from about 20 yards which Turner fumbled behind for a corner and Christie directed his header from MacKenzie's corner goalward but lifted it over the bar.
Tamworth cleared a flick on into their area on 12 and were kept on the back foot by Wimbledon disposing of a couple of dangerous crosses before Wylde made sure.
Christie and Lorraine received a talking to for an off the ball incident on 15 and after a period of both sides trying to gain the upperhand, Wimbledon won a freekick which Wellard struck into the area and Briscoe headed away for a corner on the right.
Alcock caught the 21st minute corner well and a minute later Turner slid out to deny Rodman any chance of getting the ball as it ran quickly into the area.
On 25 Tamworth won a freekick on the left wing which Mackenzie tried to put on the head of Christie, but it was headed strongly away and as the ball ran into the centre of the park, Kedwell caught Jay Smith earning The Lambs another freekick inside the centre circle.
The ball was popped forward and flicked on for Wylde to rifle home and give The Lambs the lead (1-0, 26 mins) to stun the largely partisan crowd and allow travelling contingent to celebrate widly.
As expected Wimbledon pushed forward looking for a quick reply and Alcock collected a couple of balls into his area while his teammates did all they could to keep the ball away from the danger area against was what fairly unrelenting pressure.
A mazy run by Mitchell to the edge of the Wimbledon area was only let down when his final pass was too hard for Christie as Tamworth enjoyed a good spell of possession.
MacKenzie punted another freekick from the right which Turner flapped at and Mitchell was denied a shot by his covering defender on 37.
On 40 Hendry found himself with the ball at his feet inside the area but his shot went straight into the hands of Alcock while at the other end Tait wrapped his foot around the ball to put a superb cross in from the right only for Jackson to head it away.
Tamworth now had their hosts under the cosh for periods and Tait tried another cross into from the right on 43 only to see it headed way again after good play from Jay Smith and Christie.
Smith then found Pritchard who shot from the left of the box into Turner's arms before the same Lambs player brought down Wellard for booking
One minute additional time was shown at the end of the first half and with it Elder flashed a right footed shot well wide of the left hand post before the whistle blew on a good first half for The Lambs.
Wimbledon kicked off proceedings after the break with two substitutions and continued to find themselves frustrated by a hardworking Tamworth line up.
A corner was won via a deflected header which Wellard took on 51 and MacKenzie glanced away before another flag kick was won via a deflection of Tait.
Wright sliced his clearance but MacKenzie made sure with a hefty thump to the halfway line then, on 54 Alcock made his first real enforced save of the game pushing Wellard's left footed strike from 25 yards out for a corner which Elder headed straight into Alcock's grateful grasp.
Tamworth countered and Christie forced a blocking clearance with a left sided cross before Jackson did a similar thing from the opposite side at the other end, which Alcock caught under pressure.
Rodman forced the ball through the back four on 57 but Turner was quick enough to halt the danger as the Lambs man was replaced by Sheridan.
On the hour, Elder injured himself going for a loose ball on the right wing and a stretcher was required to help him from the field which caused a necessary stoppage in play as he received treatment before he could be moved with his left leg in a splint.
A great run by Wright was ended by a foul on the edge of the area by Lorraine, who was booked for his efforts, which saw MacKenzie strike a hard low shot at goal from the freekick and it took a deflection to send it just a foot or so wide.
Christie won another from the play which Briscoe headed superbly well a yard out and brought a fine stop from Turner to deny The Lambs a second goal. Wimbledon then raced to the other end and won a corner of their own and Briscoe headed it away but was fouled in the build up.
Poole sliced a left footed shot just over the corner of bar and post on 70 from 20 yards as the Lambs fans continued to do their best to out-sing their opposite numbers.
The Wombles won a flag kick on 75 from a floated cross and defensive header which Mitchell cleared and almost set Christie free but Turner was quickest out of his area to prod it away from danger.
Alcock pulled two superb saves off in quick succession to deny both Moore and then Gregory a close range finish on 78.
As the minutes ticked away the home side tried to push forward with occasional good breaks by Tamworth and a corner was won by Wimbledon on 82 which was cleared and Shaw replaced Wright a minute later.
The Lambs cleared more danger on 85 as the ball pinged around the box and as Christie looked to be running onto a through ball Judge found himself on the floor needing treatment before hobbling off the pitch and returning shortly after play had restarted.
A long ball evaded the grasp of Alcock on 88 but it rebounded off the Wimbledon man and he caught it at the second attempt.
As the end of normal time came into view, Wylde went in search of a goal with a cross from the left which was cleared but then worked back towards Turner who launched it long again as four minutes added time was shown.
A foul on the edge of the area set up Wimbledon with a freekick chance in a central position which Moore struck well enough but just clipped the top of the cross bar with his effort.
Wimbledon kept up the pressure penning The Lambs back into their final third but everything was being thrown in the way to block anything and clear everything however it came.
A cross from Kedwell on 94 was nodded harmlessly at Alcock and another from the same player was booted away.
A freekick on the left of the box was then awarded to Wimbledon on 94:30 and taken on 94:46 before the final whistle blew on a very good evening's work for The Lambs.
Alcock, Tait, Smith J, Wylde, MacKenzie, Wright (Shaw 83), Rodman (Sheridan 58), Pritchard, Briscoe, Mitchell, Christie
Subs: Fankem, Lyttle, Mills
AFC Wimbledon Team:
Turner, Jackson, Johnson,Gregory , Lorraine, Judge, Wellard, Godfrey (Poole HT), Kedwell, Elder (Harmsworth 63), Hendry (Moore HT)
Subs: Adjei, Brown
Referee: Mr. S. Burt