Lambs take Hats off for number 9
04 January 2015
Victory in their first match of the New Year meant that Andy Morrell’s now 4th placed side, on the back of eight straight league victories, travelled to Edgeley Park to take on 8th placed Stockport who had won just once in their previous seven Vanarama Conference North matches.
Morrell made one change to the side that defeated Solihull 3-1 on New Years Day with Kayden Jackson returning to the starting eleven at the expense of Connor Talyor.
Tamworth got the game underway and after a niggly foul, the home side kept possession until Churchman fired a low shot from distance well wide of the mark on 2.
Then, Jackson pulled up in the home penalty box and could not continue, bringing Taylor onto the field after just 6 minutes of play.
The clock ticked on a very niggly affair, with the referee quite rightly stopping play for each and every foul causing the game to become quite disjointed.
However, Hibbert managed to get some pace on the right of the box around the 20 minute mark and fired past the far post with the aid of a deflection.
The corner was a good one and Preston met it well, but his header flashed wide of the frame of the goal from 8 yards out.
A ball inviting a finish was played into the box at the other end by Ryan on 21 but Belshaw was able to gather it before anyone else got to it and former County man Vidal was also on hand to clear the danger.
Sampson rose highest to the ball on 26 and put his downward header goalward only for Hurst to claw it out from danger.
At the other end on 29 Wilkinson curled a shot from the edge of the area high and wide of the target and captain Lees tried his luck from distance on 30 but failed to trouble Belshaw at all.
A Daniels freekick on 32 forced a flying save from Hurst for a left sided Lambs corner and the same player put the flag kick into the box but County cleared and broke quickly before Sampson and Vidal combined to slow things down.
The Lambs then forced a couple of corners in quick succession and Preston’s header was headed away off the line and The Hatter’s tried a quick break but were unable to break through into the final third.
A move down the home side’s right did see them get the ball in the box on 38, but there was no one to get on the end of the cross and Green was happy to shepherd it out of play.
There was a brief respite in play when Belezika took a knock on 44 and this allowed players from both sides to get an impromptu refreshment break.
After five minutes added time were shown at the end of the half, a Daniels freekick was met by the head of Sampson, but his header went over the bar from 8 yards out.
County captain Lees was booked for a tussle with Daniels in added time and the Lambs number 11 tried to plant the ball onto the head of Preston in the box, but Hurst punched it clear.
Then, just as it looked as though the first half would end goalless Vidal pounced on a loose ball in the box to strike diagonally into the bottom left of the goal from a few yards out. The goal and celebration didn’t impress the home faithful too much, but the travelling fans duly celebrated as the referee blew his whistle to end the half.
County got the game back underway with an obviously renewed sense of purpose and penned The Lambs back into their own half for the opening few minutes, forcing a corner on 48 which Clarke headed away at the near post.
A snap shot from Moses on 53 took a wicked deflection and Tamworth were able to clear their lines as the home won a freekick which Duxbury put into the box but Belshaw was equal to it.
Hurst made a good blocking save from Daniels on 65 when the player broke through the left of the box to strike low for goal, and took the corner himself only for the keeper to gather it at the second attempt.
And then on 67 Tamworth doubled their advantage when Daniels robbed the home defence of the ball on the left of the box and cut it back for Taylor who had time to pick his spot from 18 yards out and beat Hurst with a low shot into the bottom right of the goal (2-0, 67 mins)
Stockport were handed a freekick on 78 but squandered it and then Ryan burst through to go one on one with Belshaw but the keeper wasn’t tested by the shot which rose over the target from 12 yards out.
Hibbert sprinted headlong at goal from the halfway line on 80 and went one on one with Hurst but found the keeper in fine form to deny him.
The final ten minutes came and went without incident and four minutes added time was shown before the whistle blew on a ninth straight victory.
Belshaw, Vidal, Sampson, James, Preston, Adams, Green, Clarke (Trainer 68), Jackson (Taylor 06), Hibbert (Morrell 86), Daniels
Subs: Wilkins, Smith
Stockport County Team:
Hurst, Belezika, Duxbury, Chruchman, Lees, O’Halloran, Moses, Wilkinson, Spencer (Sharp 63), Glover, Ryan
Subs: Ormson, Lofthouse, Todd, Lazenbury
Referee: Mr. A. Greenwood