Lambs hold out for three points
07 March 2009Tamworth welcomed Farsley to The Lamb as Gary Mills’ side continued their attempt to regain top spot in the league.
With Gateshead now three points ahead but still having played two games more and the chasing pack closing in, three points against mid-table Farsley was a necessity in front of a home crowd.
Mills was forced to make one change to the side that had drawn with Southport on Tuesday night with Matt Birley coming in for the suspended Bradley Pritchard - missing his first league game of the season.
Farsley kicked off the game with Tamworth facing the Castle End of the ground and on 3 Tom Shaw burst on a threaded pass through the Celtic back four but couldn’t make his mind up whether to cross or shoot and Aspden collected the half hit ball from the right of the area easily.
Tamworth looked the more composed of the two sides but were being frustrated by the hoof and chase tactics of the visitors.
Farsley won a corner on 18 but a push in the box ruled out any hopes they had of getting something from the high ball into the box.
On 20 Birley made a jinking run into the heart of the Celtic defence and got a shot away but his low strike was gathered by Aspden.
Rodman was felled by Serrant on 24 as the Lambs forward tried to go round him to get a cross in on the right wing and McAughtrie connected with the low freekick from Shaw, but couldn’t direct it towards goal.
But on 28 Tamworth took the lead through a close range finish from Rodman. Sheldon took the ball out wide on the left of the box and crossed low past the keeper for Rodman to fire home his 12th goal of the season (1-0, 28 mins).
Tamworth were scuppered by a couple of contentious offside decisions, which certainly got the crowd going, as they tried to extend their lead and at the other end Wylde put in a good block to deny Grant a shot on the turn in a rare flowing move forward by Farsley.
Shaw won a corner on the right on 34 which Rodman got a head to and Sheldon kept the ball in play winning a throw on the other side which Wylde launched long into the area only for Aspden to catch at height.
A late challenge on Sheldon on the half way line went unpunished and play continued. Sheldon got back to his feet but his ankle was visibly hurting him and on 38 Serrant upended Rodman for the second time in the game which saw the referee give the Farsley player a stiff talking to.
Shaw stepped up with the freekick but again, it was just too high for Sheldon to head towards goal effectively.
Into the final five minutes of the first half and Tamworth kept up the pressure and with it a booking for Ovington for a late tackle on Wylde but Rodman was unable to keep the long freekick into the box in play.
AEveryone behind the goal shouted for a handball in the Farsley area on 44 but the referee was unsighted by a crowd in front of him and a corner resulted which Bentham headed clear.
On minute added time was shown at the end of the half before the whistle blew to end proceedings.
The Lambs kicked off the second half and did their best to keep Farsley penned into their own half and on 48 Smith hit a right footed drive just over the right hand corner of bar and post from 30 yards.
On 54 Jackson brought down Shaw as both tried to get to the bouncing ball in the box and there was no doubt that a penalty would be awarded, and Jackson received a yellow card for his effort. Sheldon stepped up and slotted home right footed into the right hand corner past Aspden, who guessed correctly, to make it 2-0 from the spot (2-0, 55 mins)
A rare attack in the form of a flicked header from Tuck failed to trouble Alcock from a Celtic freekick on 56 and another tight offside decision denied Rodman.
Then on 58 Farlsey scored to reduce the arrears in a highly unnecessary goal caused by a Lambs defensive lapse on the half way line. McAughtrie lost the ball to Grant and the Farsley player ran through and calmed lifted the ball into the net over Alcock’s dive to take full advantage of the gift (2-1, 58 mins)
The goal gave the visitors an unexpected lift and Ovington had a chance cut out by a quick thinking boot from Lyttle on 64.
Sheridan won a corner on 66 when his shot deflected off a defender and Shaw’s corner came back to the same player from Wylde’s header but Sheridan saw his shot blocked before Rodman fired high and wide as the ball ran free.
Serrant changed his shirt (and number, to 18) on 70 and Rodman required treatment on the subs after going down unchallenged in the Lambs penalty box bench bringing Stuart Nicholson on 71.
Tamworth won another corner on 73 but the long ball from Shaw missed everyone’s heads and went out for a goal kick and Birley was tumbled to the floor shortly after giving Shaw another freekick chance on 75 from the right wing about 25 yards out.
Smith got his head to the ball but directed it wide of the mark.
Smith picked up a yellow card on 82 for a foul on Ovington in the centre of the Lambs half and Birley thumped a shot into the visiting defence on 83 before Grant almost nipped in at the other end, but McAughtrie did enough to allow the ball to bounce back to Alcock before the Celtic player could get a foot to it.
Foster was forced to concede another corner on 86 and then cleared the ball off the line when Ovington tired to divert it home.
A freekick from Prendergast skipped through everyone and Lyttle put it behind for a corner as Farsley tried to snatch something which they almost did, but Jackson’s header went wide and it wouldn’t have counted anyway as play was brought back for a foul as three minutes added time were announced before the whistle blew on three points for the Lambs.
Alcock, Lyttle, Wylde, Smith, McAughtrie, Foster, Sheridan, Shaw, Sheldon, Rodman (Nicholson 71), Birley
Subs: Lea, Burgess, Nurse, Redfearn
Farsley Celtic Team:
Aspden, Bentham, Serrant (Forrest 85), D’Laryea, Jackson, Penford, Tuck, Hotchkiss, Grant, Ovington, Prendergast
Subs: Saynor, Malcher, Driscoll, Jackson
Match Sponsors: www.tamworthfans.co.uk and The White Lion, Aldergate
Man of the Match: Gareth Sheldon
Referee: Mr. P. Hobday (Tipton)