Lambs leave Yorkshire without a point
17 November 2007
Tamworth made their first ever trip to Wetherby Ro ad, Harrogate as both sides came into the game on the back of 3-2 extra time wins in the Setanta Shield in midweek and in the next round of the competition, Harrogate would make the journey to The Lamb. The home side, in second place in the league, would be no easy test for Gary Mills’ men although Harrogate had only won one of their last four.
With Jose Veiga out for the foreseeable future, on loan Chester City ‘keeper Philip Palethorpe made his debut between the posts. Adie Smith was ruled out with a knee injury and Craig McAughtrie was still sidelined, but Mills welcomed back Dave Bampton and handed Jonti Richter his first league start. Gareth Sheldon also sat out his first league game of the season while Des Lyttle and Michael Briscoe continued their consecutive run of league games appearances.
The Lambs started the game kicking ‘up’ the road and made an immediate impact, taking the lead after just 1 minute 12 seconds via Nick Wright who coolly slotted home after good work from Richter to dispossess the home defence on the edge of the area. (1-0)
Harrogate came back quickly and flashed a shot just wide form distance on 4.
Richter again set up Wright down the wing on 6 only to see his ball to Chris Nurse cut out but Harrogate were quick on the break and Danny Holland had to be foiled by Palethorpe who came out of his area to clear the danger.
The Lambs thought they had made it two on 9 but Anthony Robinson’s close range header past Curtis Aspen from Richter’s low cross was ruled out, quite rightly, for offside.
Tamworth continued to take the game to their hosts with Wright having a great start to proceedings, linking well with Richter and Lyttle before switching to the left on 14.
Chris Bettney found space to have a shot at Palethorpe on 15, but it was easy for the Lambs ‘keeper and on 20, Holland struck the outside of the post with a driven shot, but Mark Hume equalised after The Lambs failed to clear the danger with a volley that went in off the underside of the bar on 21 (1-1).
Both sides battled hard in midfield to take control of the game with Harrogate looking the more likely to forge themselves into the lead despite chances being at a premium.
On 34 Robinson clashed heads which left him needing treatment and produced the first card of the game for Hume.
Tamworth then won their first corner of the game on 36 from the freekick but Richter’s ball in the area was cleared away and despite winning the ball back nothing came of the subsequent attack.
On 39, Richter tugged Dave Merris to give the home side a freekick on the left of the area and from it, Hume rose highest to nod home inside the far post (1-2)
Harrogate then won their first flag kick of the game on 42 but were forced back to the halfway line and Tamworth broke through Richter. He tried to feed Wright, but the ball skipped under the striker boot as he tussled with the last man.
Matt Williams then took a corner for Tamworth on 43 but Briscoe’s header was poor, allowing Harrogate to clear their lines leaving.
Wright should have at least got a shot away in the final seconds of the first half, but was dispossessed by Merris as he eventually shaped to shoot and the home side remained in the driving seat as the half time whistle blew.
Williams fired a freekick in to the area on 47 which just evaded two Lambs heads and was collected by Aspden
Playing on the left of midfield and in the perfect position to follow up the rebound, Williams made it 2-2 on 50 with a close range header after Nurse’s initial header from Lyttle’s right wing cross was parried by Aspden.
While the game was showing a lot of individual skill at times the passes from both sides were going awry although both defences were playing well enough to stop any threat coming into the final third.
However, on 69 Darren Dunning made it 3-2 to Harrogate with a deflected shot past Palethorpe after Lee Whittington’s shot had been blocked and fell invitingly for Dunning.
Mills brought Gareth Sheldon on in a straight replacement for Robinson, although he moved out to his preferred left shortly after taking to the field and Marcus Ebdon took the place of Williams with 12 remaining.
Tamworth pushed forward into a more 4-2-4 / 4-3-3 formation and it almost paid off, but Wright’s right footed shot from the edge of the area on 79 curled well wide of the mark.
Ebdon won a freekick 30 yards from goal on 80 which Richter floated towards the run of Lyttle at the far post but it was headed behind for a corner which came to nothing, but Tamworth kept up the pressure.
A good run from Richter saw him advance over the halfway line past four Town players and shoot from 25 yards but clear the stand and Nurse threaded the ball through the defence to Wright shortly after, but he was denied a shooting chance by the last defender.
Dave Bampton worked hard to get the ball into the area on 87 but Nurse was denied a header by Roy Hunter. From the corner Langdon and Sheldon both tried to get the ball towards goal, but Harrogate thumped the ball clear and almost set themselves up for a fourth goal, but the final ball was halted by the linesman flag.
Three minutes added time was shown and despite Tamworth trying their hardest they left Yorkshire pointless.
Palethorpe, Lyttle, Langdon, Briscoe, Bains, Bampton, Richter, Nurse, Robinson (Sheldon 71), Wright, Williams (Ebdon 78)
Subs: Sheridan, Law, Leonard
Aspden, Price, Merris, Ingram, Hume, Wood, Hunter, Dunning, Whittington, Holland (Jackson), Bettney (James 65)
Subs: Ellerker, Peat, Hirst
Referee: Mr. P Davis (Stockton on Tees)