Lambs lose out on all three points
15 March 2008
Lambs boss Gary Mills handed a debut to Northampton ‘keeper Shaun Markie for the game away at Worcester City hopeful that his side would recreate their midweek success against Redditch.
So it was fitting that with the weather almost the same – rain (but without the wind) he would name the same starting eleven from Tuesday night – keeper excepted – however, despite Dave Bampton being named in the starting eleven, Jake Sheridan took to the field in the number six shirt in his place when the teams ran on the field.
Des Lyttle who wore the captains armband for the tie was warmly received by the home faithful while Graham Ward was amongst a number of Richard Dryden’s Worcester side that had previously been a Lamb.
A quick start to the game brought slightly more play for Worcester without any clear cut chances being created by either side.
But it was the Lambs who took the lead in the ninth minute when Gareth Sheldon broke down the left and crossed the ball past Rapinder Gill’s despairing missed clearance in the centre of the area where Jake Sheridan was on hand to fire past Cameron Belford (1-0)
40 seconds later and it was Sheridan again from a similar position just inside the area, but this time he had received the ball from a Lambs freekick on the left to make it 2-0.
On 14 Worcester’s Chris Smith tried and audacious overhead kick to no avail while Sheridan, at the other end, won a corner which rattled around the box but to no avail.
Nick Wright got his first shot of the game away on 20 which took a deflection for a Sheldon corner but Jon Munday’s header cleared the near post danger and although Lyttle got the ball back into the area Munday cleared once again.
Colin Marrison tried a long range effort at Cameron Belford’s goal on 27 which went well wide of the mark and a minute later City won a freekick on the right of the area which Price stepped up to take, but ultimately wasted after it hit the wall.
With 33 minutes gone Markie was forced into his first ‘save’ as the ball bobbled goalwards from Munday’s tame header much was the workrate of the Lambs defence to keep the ball at the other end of the field and away from their danger areas.
A couple of fierce tackles on and by Sheridan and Gill earned Gill the first booking of the game on 36 in a clean but otherwise hard fought battling game to that point.
Sheridan won a the ball on the right, cut past his defender and into the box and squared the ball along the edge of the six yard box with Belford beaten on 41 but neither the Tamworth forwards not the Worcester defenders could get a boot to it and it rolled harmlessly through the crowd to safety.
Sheldon put a thumping tackle in on Ryan Clarke and received a yellow card for his efforts shortly before the break with his side well in control.
Worcester pressed Tamworth at the start of the second half and won a freekick on 47 which Price struck left footed from the left of the area but The Lambs were more than equal and cleared the ball.
On 50 Martin Foster struck right footed from the edge of the area at Belford and the home custodian dropped to his left to smother the ball fairly routinely as the Lambs fans sheltering from the weather sent shockwaves of sound down the lengths of the main stand to urge their team on.
Foster was forced to head Wards’ crossed ball behind to give the home side a corner on 54 and Craig McAughtrie twice cleared the ground perimeter with his headed clearances from the flag kicks. From the third corner Munday thought he’d done enough to push the ball home through a crowd in the box but Markie dropped to the floor and stopped the ball crossing the line.
The home side continued to look for a way back into the game and on 58 minutes substitute Troy Wood wrapped his foot around the ball but shot a few feet wide.
With the home side continuing to look for a goal to get them back into the game Tamworth pushed their back line forward restricting Worcester’s options. They continued to press though and won a corner which came to nothing, and then a freekick on the left touch line which also came to nothing after a push on Markie by Smith in the build up.
Mills gave a rare appearance to Kirk Jackson, on for Wright, on 66 but it was Wood who got the next chance at goal – a header from a Clarke cross straight into the arms of Markie.
A penalty was given to Tamworth by the linesman on 68 after a handball from Price as he slid in on the ball in the area (see photo) – allowing Marrison to step up and make it 3-0 with 21 minutes remaining.
Last minute call up to the subs bench Graeme Law replaced two goal man Sheridan on 72 who looked to be struggling with a bad back as the rain continued to drive down on the pitch.
It was then the turn of Worcester’s sub Mark Danks to have a shot on 75 which cleared the bar by inches and forced Markie to cover his goal at full stretch but such was the nature of the game that Tamworth turned the screw once again and did their utmost to get the ball out of their own half and protect the clean sheet.
However, a freekick came to Worcester on 80 which Lyttle headed behind convincingly for a home corner and Clarke was on hand to finish the loose ball from the flag kick after Markie had initially made a good stop from the corner but could not be blamed for the goal eventually going in on 81. (3-1)
An excellent one handed save from Markie denied Craig Wilding on 90 which won the home side a corner which Lyttle headed behind for another flag kick but once again Clarke half volleyed home - despite the best efforts of Foster to stop it going in. (3-2)
Then, with three and a half minute of added time having been played, Troy Wood got his head onto a long ball into the Lambs area from about a foot out and forced the ball into the roof of the net to make it 3 goals apiece and rob the Lambs of two points right at the death.
Belford, Clarke, Gill (Wood HT), Smith C, Munday, Price, Ward, Walker, Dinsmore (Burtoft 78), Wilding, Clegg (Danks 70)
Subs: Ricketts, Brown
Markie, Lyttle, Langdon, Briscoe, McAughtrie, Sheridan (Law 72), Foster (Smith A 90), Nurse, Marrison, Wright (Jackson 66), Sheldon
Subs: Williams, Richter
Referee: Mr. N. Hobbis (Chelmsley Wood)
Yellow Cards: Gill 36, Sheldon 42, Smith 67, Price 76, Jackson 90