Lambs pay the early penalty, but make a point.
14 February 2009
Despite an equalising header from substitute Craig McAughtrie, Tamworth couldn't find the winner at Rivacre Road and had to settle for a point - a fair result after the home side had taken a two goal lead courtesy of first half penalties.
Tamworth took the initiative the quickest against Vauxhall with Gareth Sheldon immediately showing he was out to give the home defence a hard time. Sheldon chested the ball into the path of Tom Shaw inside the first minute and the latter forced Jamie Coates to drop and stop his shot.
But despite the hard work Tamworth's next chance didn't come for another 37 minutes and in between The Motormen took the lead and then doubled it.
On 23 Dominic Langdon was penalised for what the referee saw as a tug on Karl Noon's shirt and awarded a penalty which Tom Field netted to the right of Danny Alcock.
And less than 10 minutes later Vauxhall's tricky winger Chris Noone sent a high ball into the area which a team mate got a head onto and as it dropped in front of Chris Smith it appeared to strike his arms which were in front of his body and the referee pointed to the spot again.
Field dispatched the second penalty kick to double his sides lead and left Tamworth wondering what they had done to incur the wrath of Lady Luck.
But The Lambs didn’t give up - far from it in fact - and Rodman finished the first real opening with a right footed drive across the six yard box from the left of the area and into the far corner to restore some normality to the game before the half time whistle blew.
In the second period, fans could have been excused, at times, for all moving to one end of the pitch as Tamworth took up residency in the Vauxhall half and around 85% of the remainder of the game was spent with the ball moving towards Coates. The Lambs back four spent a long time guarding the half way line and when the home side did manage to break through Alcock was stationed outside his area mopping up the loose balls with ease.
However, with so many bodies in so small a space Tamworth struggled to get any clear chances on goal and a few yellow cards were dished out by the ref.
Shaw saw yellow shortly before being substituted for Matt Birley who brought some pace to the midfield. And it was Birley who was upended by Lee Davies a minute or so after he took to the field which earned the Motorman a booking.
Shortly after, Martin Foster picked up a yellow for a crunching tackle with (rather than on) Noone and boss Gary Mills made two further subs.
Craig Reid added more pace to the side on the left side coming on for a hard working but battered Langdon and McAughtrie replaced Stuart Nicholson on 79 and took a place in attack rather than the more usual defence.
And within a minute it had paid off. McAughtrie was perfectly positioned to power home a far post header from Sheldon's deep cross from the right corner flag and it was no more than Tamworth deserved.
Vauxhall's Allan Griffiths had managed to completely miss the target with a seemingly easy header prior to the second Lambs goal and Alex Rodman had been unable to capitalise when Coates dropped a high ball at his feet with his back to goal.
A late booking for Sheldon, protesting a foul on a fellow team mate, was picked up unnecessarily and although Rodman hit a hopeful half volley wide of the mark deep into the four minutes of added time both sides had to share the spoils.
Alcock, Lyttle, Langdon (Reid 73), Smith, Wylde, Foster, Nicholson (McAughtrie 79), Shaw (Birley 66), Sheldon, Pritchard
Unused: Sheridan, Rawle
Vauxhall Motors Team:
Coates, Egerton, Dames (Owens 85), Evans, Griffiths, Holmes, Holden (Furlong 85), Burke, Noon (Otobo 90), Field, Noone
Unused: Wright, Hannigan
Referee: Mr. J Mainwaring (Bury)