Lambs net well earned point
21 March 2010
Being a Sunday game, this was the only match in the league on the day and with a press bench full to the brim and TV commentator Jim Rosenthal watching as a guest in the directors box this was a real showpiece event for Tamworth FC. The away end was packed to the rafters by Yellow shirts and flags but the home turnout was not as obviously plentiful, with gaps dotted around the terraces.
Tamworth started the game kicking towards the Castle End and Christie almost opened the scoring within 25 seconds. Murdock found an acre of space on the right and crossed for Christie to head for goal but he couldn't quite get the direction he wanted and put his effort wide.
Murdock picked up a yellow on for a dangerous tackle on Tomkin on 2 in the centre circle and the Lambs player made a good run down the left but had his foray halted by a timely challenge on the edge of the area.
A similar run by Constable was halted by Smith on 8 and Oxford won a freekick on the left of the Lambs box which was thumped into the box and the travelling fans screamed for handball but nothing was given as Alcock got his first touch.
Smith threw himself to deny Green's strike on 16 and Alcock pulled of a superb save, diving to the right, from Constable's volley from Tonkin's left wing cross on 18.
Green won a left sided corner on 19 and Alcock tired to punch it clear but it span off his glove and caught the ball at the second attempt.
At the other end on 21 Christie nodded the ball towards goal and Clarke tipped it away from danger as it bounced towards the far corner.
Constable brought another great save from Alcock on 23 with a right footed low drive through a crowd of players towards the keepers right hand post which he dropped to smother and he was equal to a corner in the next wave of play.
Rodman tried his luck from fully 35 yards, and although the shot curled wide of the right hand upright by some distance, the height and application were worthy of applause if not the direction.
Tamworth won their first corner on 28, down by the tea hut, but Sheridan scuffed the strike and although Pritchard did receive the ball his attempt at a shot was blocked.
Oxford broke to the other end and Green rose highest to head a right wing cross towards goal but was way off target with his effort.
Tait was forced to head behind Tomkins whipped in ball from the left on 32 and a push in the build up ruled out the ‘goal' which Day headed home.
A minute later and Christie won a flag kick for The Lambs after his shot was blocked on the left of the box but Day headed the chance away.
A period of stalemate ensued with neither side able to make much headway into the final third, until on 43 Mitchell picked up a booking for a foul on the right of defence.
One minute added time was shown at the end of the first half which went without much incident and the whistle blew on a goalless first half.
Chris Wilder made a change at have time with Creighton coming on as the visitors kicked off, with Tamworth playing towards the 888 visiting fans.
On 49, Tonkin let fly from 25 yards and although it seemed safe for Alcock he fumbled the ball around the near post for a corner which was headed behind for another and when Creighton pushed the ball into the path of Constable he blazed his shot over the bar from 18 yards.
A half chance fell the way of Murdock on 54 but he skied his effort after an unkind bounce and he was replaced shortly afterwards by Blackwood.
Christie saw daylight on the edge of the area on the hour but was denied a shot by Batt and on 61 Pritchard felled Tomkin 35 yards out allowing the same Oxford player a shot a goal, but he chipped the ball into no man's land and the chance was wasted.
A throw on the right was flicked on by Christie before being put behind for a corner at the far post on 64 and Tamworth regained possession with Blackwood trying an overhead kick 8 yards out which he made contact with but failed to direct towards goal.
Blacwood made a surging run around the left corner of the pitch but put the ball into the arms of Clarke at the near post on 69 and on 70 Christie forced an error for a corner on the right but a push by Mitchell halted play in Oxford's favour.
Constable was booked for a foul on Pritchard inside The Lambs box and Lake-Gaskin replaced Rodman.
Grant jinked to try and get a sight of goal on 76 but screwed his shot wide of the left hand upright on 76 while Blackwood tested Clarke with a low drive in the next move which was bread and butter for the Oxford keeper.
With Oxford rarely threatening while Tamworth pushed forward Blackwood won a corner on the left on 81 which was headed behind with Wylde steaming in at the back post for another flag kick on the other side and although Wylde put the ball into the net from the dead ball he had already been flagged offside.
A challenge, adjudged to have been late, by Sheridan on Tonkin earned the Lambs player a booking on 83 and Pritchard blocked the kick send Lake-Gaskin on a run towards the Meadow Street End.
And a foul by Bulman on Blackwood set up Jay Smith with a right footed freekick on the left corner on the box on 87 but nothing came of the chance.
Alcock denied Constable with a fine double save on 89 as the Oxford man tried to force him to fumble a low ball into the box purely by his close attentions.
Four minutes added time was indicated at the end of the second half and a low ball from the right caused the visiting defence a few problems before Oxford tried some of the same but play halted when Deering earned himself a yellow shortly before the whistle blew on a well earned point for The Lambs.
Alcock, Tait, Wylde, Murdock (Blackwood 57), Rodman (Lake-Gaskin 74), Pritchard, Sheridan, Lyttle, Smith J, Mitchell, Christie
Subs: MacKenzie, Fankem, Shaw
Oxford United Team:
Clarke, Batt, Bulman, Constable, Clist, Wright (Creighton HT), Day, Chalmers (Green M 51), Tonkin, Green F (Grant 71), Deering
Subs: Turley, Hargreaves
Man of the Match: Chosen by Polesworth Garage: Danny Alcock
Referee: M. Brown