Lambs leap Heed into Round three
03 December 2011
To get past the fourth qualifying round stage the Lambs had to come from a goal behind to overcome lower league Kings Lynn Town. Then, only a Kyle Patterson last minute goal kept them in the cup in the first round proper at Hinckley United.
A late, late Kieron St Aimie goal then saw them overcome the same opposition in the replay of the aforementioned game - before the Lambs did it again last weekend at Gateshead.
This tie was every bit as dramatic as the first game against Hinckley at the Greene King Stadium.
It had a red card, a missed penalty and a Tamworth last minute winner. To cap it all, it ended with a dream draw for the Lambs in the third round - a trip to Premiership giants Everton.
And if David Moyes and his Everton staff think they have an easy game in the third round, they need think again.
A DVD recording of this tie might be all they need to do that.
Because, despite being on the wrong end of some early pressure, the Lambs regrouped well and showed a fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude which has become synonymous with the season. Marcus Law's men will certainly not roll over for Tim Cahill, Leighton Baines, Tim Howard et al when the two sides meet in January. After coping early on and finding their feet, the Lambs surprisingly took the lead on 29 minutes. Francino Francis was the unlikely scorer as he got in before the on-loan
Jak Alnwick to prod home a Sam Habergham corner from the right. Danny Thomas had a great chance to double that lead moments later, but he skied his effort high and wide after Alnwick could only parry Danny Mills' effort on the edge of the area.
If that was a good chance for Thomas, then it was nothing compared to the one Kieron St Aimie had just before the break.
The in-form forward won a penalty for the Lambs after being dragged to the ground by Chris Carruthers - a foul he was then sent off for - but St Aimie could not convert the penalty as Alnwick saved easily.
The second half started in the same fashion - with the Lambs on the front foot - as St Aimie wasted a gilt edged chance when Alnwick reacted fantastically well to block his effort from inside the six yard box.
The chance came after a Paul Green low cross was only half cleared into the path of St Aimie.
They were made to pay for those misses as Nathan Fisher pulled the home side level as he out-muscled Francis and slid an effort in off the far post.
The Lambs were put under some serious pressure after that goal, but defended well to keep the home side out.
The centre back pairing of Francis and Kanyuka were throwing themselves in front of everything as the visitors tried to stem the flow.
And their efforts were rewarded - and how - in the last minute of play.
Once again a set-piece was the undoing for Gateshead as Kyle Patterson was on hand to tap home after a fumble from Alnwick off a corner from Paul Green.
The timing of the goal left no chance for a Gateshead comeback, and ensured the Lambs booked their place in the third round for the first time since taking on Norwich City in 2005/6.
Thanks to Chris Philpotts of the Tamworth Herald for the report
Hedge, Tait, Francis, Kanyuka, Habergham, Mills, Courtney (Bradley 70, McDonald 90), Green, Thomas (Barrow 76), St. Aimie, Patterson.Yellow Cards: Tait 68
Substitutes: Collister, Shariff, Taylor, Farah
Alnwick, Baxter (Odihambo 54), Curtis, Clark, Carruthers, Brittain (Rents 46), Turnbull, Gate (Marwood 83), Moore, Fisher, ShawYellow Cards: Baxter 33
Substitutes: Deasy, Mulligan, Nix, Henderson
Red Cards: Carruthers 41
Referee: P. Tierney