Lambs Roman holiday ends in disappointment
12 February 2011
After last Saturday's home defeat to lowly Histon, box Des Lyttle was expecting a change in attitude and hopefully fortune as the Lambs travelled to face Bath City at Twerton Park.
And with the Supporters team having been beaten by their City rivals 0-4 earlier that morning there were high hopes that the ‘reverse-jinx' of ‘the fans not winning = the first team winning' would come true again (for more on that game see next Saturday's programme v Wimbledon).
Almost eight years ago The Lambs came to the same ground to cap their promotion winning season the first time they made it into the top flight of non league football, but all thoughts turned to the team sheet prior to kick off as Lyttle made one change to the side that ran out the previous weekend.
Duane Courtney came in for Jake Sheridan who took a place on the bench, while Kyle Perry was fit to play after fears he might not be. Jay Smith was named as a substitute after a long lay-off while Jason Bradley sat out the second of his four match ban.
One memorable name in the City squad, three points ahead in the table prior to kick off, was that of Sekani Simpson, himself a one-time-Lamb.
Bath got the game underway kicking towards the large terracing covered in Lambs flags and the pushed Tamworth back into their own half in the opening exchanges.
On 4 a Thomas ball from the left bounced invitingly for Perry to head at goal but he was unable to get any power on it and Robinson collected.
Courtney at right back, with Tait on the right of midfield, headed a Burnell freekick away strongly on 5 and play switched to the other end as Tamworth won a corner on the right on 8.
Thomas found the head of Marshall and he nodded it across goal for Tait but he lifted his shot on the angle over the bar.
Phillips got a shot away on 10 which didn't trouble Atkins who dropped easily to collect the ball. Bath regained possession and forced a game of goalmouth pinball between the Lambs defenders before a wayward shot from outside the area went miles wide.
Mohamed got the better of Courtney cutting into the area from the left wing on 15 but took a dive as he shaped to shoot earning himself a booking, then on 17 a right footed strike from Watkins from 20 yards forced Atkins to make a good save, pushing the ball away low to his right.
Yussuf was called offside for the second time when trying to get onto the end of a through ball on 19, narrowly straying past the last man again as the he ran onto the chance with a clean sight of goal but fell to the floor while running over the halfway line and held his left hamstring, and although he got up and walked off an early change of personnel was required.
Burnell and Barrow clashed on the halfway line on 23 earning the Bath player just a yellow card for a seemingly high boot with studs showing.......
Play continued to the half hour mark but offered little in the way of goalmouth action, although both sides were working hard to keep possession with Bath winning a corner on the left on 30 which came to nothing.
Thomas and MacKenzie tried a neat one-two into the area on 32 but the return ball was cut out and on 33 MacKenzie tried to curl a lob into the far corner from the right of the area but it went over the corner of the woodwork by a couple of feet.
Perry tried some trickery on the edge of the area on 37 but saw his attempt at a shot blocked then on 41 a back pass was miskicked by Atkins and it looked like the cross to Phillips would see his far post header creep in but it rolled past both posts before being cleared.
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the half and a Thomas shot from the left of the box was held well but routinely by Robinson before the whistle blew.
Tamworth started the second half and a clash of heads between Wylde and Phillips drew blood from both players and then a challenge by Kamara on Rollo saw the Lambs player see yellow on 49.
Marshall put a textbook defensive header in to deny Canham a chance of a sight at goal from a right wing cross on 54.
At the other end Courtney's right wing curling ball to the far post was headed behind by Perry.
Marshall denied Mohamed with a superbly timed tackle as the ball skipped towards the area on 56.
Tait was then booked for a foul on Jombati midway down the left side of the pitch and the freekick was struck into the area but Burnell cleared the bar with ease from 16 yards.
Kamara and Rollo clashed heads when a tame ball came at them and both needed treatment on the pitch for the knock.
In the next move, Kamara fed Courtney who cut into space on the right and crossed deep for Perry, but his header was always going high over the bar, in an otherwise good passage of play.
Smith came on for MacKenzie with just over 20 to go in a straight swap in the centre of the park hoping to liven things up a bit, but it was Bath who created a half chance on 70 when a freekick went into the area and rolled across the six yard box and out at the other side.
A slip by Barrow allowed Bath to put the ball into the box from the right on 73 but four Lambs defenders combined to clear any hint of danger, although the home side were looking more comfortable on the ball.
A freekick against Jombati on Tait set up Thomas with a dead ball by the corner flag on the right and keeper Robinson punched it clear.
One and a half minutes after coming onto the field Watson picked up the ball 30 yards out, let it bounce and then lifted it over Atkins into the back of the net with a quality strike to give the visitors the lead. (0-1, 80 mins)
Phillips then found space on the left and advanced towards Atkins who made a great save to deny him at his near post.
Tamworth tried to turn up the heat from then on, looking to get back into the game without exposing themselves too much which almost proved to be the case had it not been for Thomas's back tracking on 90 to deny a good move involving Phillips and Watson.
Canham's freekick eventually found Hogg in the next move and he should have doubled the lead but fired wildly off target when clean through as four minutes added time was shown.
And the score was doubled in added time as Canham released Murray with a superb through ball and he made no mistake with the finish after taking it around Atkins. (0-2, 90 mins)
Atkins, Tait (Sheridan 81), Marshall, Courtney, Wylde, MacKenzie (Smith 67), Perry, Thomas,, Bradley D, Barrow, Yussuf (Kamara 22)
Subs: Mitchell, Christie
Yellow Cards: Kamara 49
Bath City Team:
Robinson, Simpson, Rollo (Hogg 70), Jones, Burnell, Jombati, Connolly, Canham, Phillips, Mohamed (Watson 78), Watkins (Murray 64)
Subs: Ruddick, Hart
Yellow Cards: Mohamed 15, Burnell 24, Hogg 83
Referee: W. Barrett