Lambs hold on for point
11 April 2006
Mark Cooper’s Lambs travelled to the McCain Stadium for their rearranged league fixture against Scarborough in search of another three points to keep the unbeaten run of four games going. The Seadogs though hadn’t won at home since November and face a tough run in so fancied three points against Tamworth in a bid to rescue themselves from the drop, albeit momentarily.
Cooper kept the same starting eleven that defeated Canvey on Saturday, but in a bizarre twist, keeper Dale Belford made his first appearance on a Lambs' team sheet since Tuesday December 5 1995 due to the unavailability of the normal second choice custodians.
Tamworth started the brighter of the two sides on a dry, but sandy pitch and in the fourth minute Neil Redfearn took out Scott Stamps on the left side of the field and picked up a yellow card for his late challenge for which the former Kidderminster man required treatment.
A foul on Graham Ward by Lee Fowler on the right of the area on 7 allowed Stamps to float the ball in but despite the best efforts of both Danny Davidson and Tommy Johnson Tamworth couldn’t get enough purchase to threaten Ian Dunbavin’s goal.
Davidson’s persistence won Lambs their first corner on 13 which Kyle Storer fired into the area but ex-Seadog Matt Redmile, heading over the bar, was penalised for a push.
Redmile denied Chris Hughes a shooting chance from distance on 15 and Tamworth came forward again, albeit thanks to a fortuitous handball on the halfway line by the home side.
Adie Smith conceded a free kick 25 yards out, fouling Tony Hackworth, shortly after and Redfearn stepped up to take a shot at Bowles but thankfully for the 60 or so traveling supporters the ball whistled wide of the upright.
Rob Atkinson felled Storer outside the area on 19 to allow Stamps another attempt of setting up a Lambs' opener but Johnson strayed offside and the chance was wasted.
The Lambs' second corner came on 21 thanks to Johnson’s efforts by the flag and Stamps was once again given the chance of setting up a goal but despite two attempts to fire the ball in the home side cleared the danger.
Hackworth found some space to shoot on 24 but fired high and wide form the edge of the area in a rare Scarborough attack.
Tamworth found themselves with most of the play, moving it around well and trying to get forward but lacked that killer instinct with the final ball while the home side looked content to wait for a break, playing with nine men in their own half for most of the opening half hour.
As the ball ran free Redfearn tired his luck from 25 yards on 30 and it took a slight deflection from the gloves of Bowles to stop the ball creeping in at his near post.
Scarborough then started to turn the screw slightly with some previously unseen pressure but like Lambs failed to deliver effectively in the final third.
Hackworth broke free of the Lambs' defence on 40 and shot across the face of goal which Storer cleared for a corner and from the flag kick a header went well wide of the mark.
Tamworth came back immediately with Johnson winning another corner from a deflected shot but Davidson’s header was of target at the far post.
The home side won themselves a corner with two first half minutes to play and Bowles pulled off a fantastic near post diving save to deny Weaver. Scarborough whipped the ball back in from the flag kick, but Atkinson blazed the ball over from eight yards out with a wild swing.
Bowles denied a long range effort from David McNiven shortly after after Johnson had tried a similar strike straight from the start of the second period.
Scarborough looked the hungrier of the two sides as the second half ticked on but Tamworth were by no means going out without a fight and battled hard to keep the Seadogs in their own half.
Cooper lofted a hopeful ball forward for Johnson but the former Celtic man missed the chance from six yards and Redmile pulled off a well timed challenge to halt the home side on the edge of his area on 65.
Following a good move forward by the home side, David McNiven helped the ball goalward and Hackworth was denied once again by the agility of Bowles on 68, parrying his close range flick and watched as it spun wide of his right-hand post and out for a corner.
The home side were by now having more of the play and looked the most likely to break the deadlock, shading it on possession and perhaps effort, but Smith, Redmile and Neilson were playing like Trojans at the back to deny chances or shepherd the ball to safety but the game as a whole was a scrappy and disjointed affair with neither side being able to complete more than two or three passes without losing control.
Scarborough forced a corner on 82 which Kevin Nicholson whipped in and The Lambs broke only for Davidson to have the ball stolen off his feet as he bore down on goal after good play by sub Bob Taylor.
Adie Smith broke from his own half on 84 following another home corner and won possession for the Lambs but when Ward tried a chip forward looking for Taylor, Dunbavin was by far the quickest and stopped the move. And Ward took a knock on 86 which meant a welcome return for youngster Michael Tuohy to the Lambs side.
It was backs against the walls stuff for Cooper’s men in three minutes of added time and Bowles almost blemished his record, dropping a seemingly simple ball uncharacteristically before scampering out of his area to clear. But The Lambs held onto a much needed away point.
Davidson, Johnson (Taylor 69)
Stamps, Storer, Cooper, Ward (Tuohy 86), Roma
Smith, Neilson, Redmile
Subs: Dryden, Reid, Belford
Nicholson, Redfearn (McClare 74), Fowler, Hughes (Coulson 69), Baker
Atkinson, Ingram, Weaver
Subs: Walker, Blunt, Beadle
Yellow Cards: Redfearn 4, Ingram 9, Cooper 59, Bowles 90
Red Cards: none