Following the defeat away Llanellian Road the previous Saturday Tamworth returned to The Lamb to face local rivals Hednesford Town in the battle of the play off places as 4th took on 5th.
Due to having a number of players missing, Andy Morrell was forced to play all his cards and made for changes to the side that lost to Colwyn Bay. Phil Trainer, Jon Adams, Connor Taylor and Dave HIbbert all came into the starting eleven with new faces Jed Davies and Dominic McGarr appearing on the team sheet for the first time having signed in midweek.
Hednesford got the game underway attacking the Castle End in the first half and immediately made their presence felt. Inside the first minute Tunicliffe's header came back off the far post and Thomas's follow up also struck the same piece of woodwork before play was halted by the referee. After the shotgun start to the game, play was more even until a strike from Diggin on the left of the box was diverted away from goal and behind for a corner on 14. A darting run from Osborne forced a corner on 16 but it came to nothing after a flowing move down the right, a superb reflex stop from close range by Crane denied Mettam a right footed volley on 19. Mettam aimed for the top right corner on 25 and nearly found it but his shot from the left of the D curled agonisingly away from the target at the right height and with Crane beaten. Pitmen Captain Hurst felled Mettam on 28 on the left of the box and although Thornton’s dead ball was met by Clarke, Hednesford managed to clear the danger. Mettam chased a ball into the box on 31 and clashed with Crane leaving the striker writhing in agony and it looked like he may not continue but after some treatment behind the goal he hobbled back round to the half way line and ran off the knock. A foul 25 yards out on 35 set up Thornton with a dead ball but it struck the visiting defence and was cleared. Hibbert did well to get past his man and force a corner with Crane bearing down on him in the left of the box on 42 and when the ball came out to Thornton on the left in the ensuing play, with Crane out of his area, the gaping goal was too far away for a shot to trouble the Pitmen defence. From a 44th minute corner though, Hednesford took the lead through Hurst’s far post header which went past Belshaw into the near side of the goal. (0-1, 44 mins) Former Lamb Kerry picked up a booking for a foul on Clarke inside the three added minutes at the end of the first half.
HT: Tamworth 01 Hednesford Town
Mettam had the first chance of the second half and it was a good one as the ball bounced over the last defender and allowed him to bear down on Crane, but the keeper made the angle ever decreasing and the strikers shot rebounded away of the keeper. Thornton was booked for deliberate handball on the Hednesford right wing on 55. On 58, Mettam was well placed to get a snap shot away in the right of the box but it span off his boot. Hibbert had more luck though with a fine turn and finish on 64 to equalise proceedings. He received the ball on the left of the box and turned on it before guiding it into the roof of the net past Crane. (1-1, 64 mins) Clarke found himself with a bit of space in a central position on 69 and went for goal but it rose over the bar from 25 yards. The Lamb erupted though on 79 when Hibbert’s looping strike beat Crane and the keeper was unable to claw it out. (2-1, 79 mins) And three minutes later Hibbert netted his hat-trick with a low shot from the edge of the box which beat Crane low to the keepers left (3-1, 82 mins) Davies came of for Thornton for his Lambs debut on 89 and four minutes added time was shown at the end of the game.