Lambs the best of seven
05 April 2010
On the back of a great 3-0 win over Barrow on Saturday, Gary Mills took his Lambs to the New Lawn, Forest Green in a game where both sides were vying for the much needed three points - with five games remaining (including this one) Tamworth sat in 17th place three points ahead of FGR in the ‘top' relegation spot on 39.
Mills made one change to the side that defeated Barrow with Michael Blackwood ruled out Seb Lake-Gaskin came in to an otherwise unchanged starting eleven although the lack of bodies did mean the gaffer took a place on the bench.
The Lambs began the game kicking towards the Lambs fans behind the goal but with 1 minute 20 seconds gone Powell started and ended a move, firing home from close range after Alcock had been unable to stop Styche's shot from the right of the area and parried into the FGR players path. (0-1, 2 mins).
The Lambs then won a penalty when Christie was felled in the area and the linesman indicated with his flag that the Tamworth forward had been pulled down trying to get a shot away with Burton scrambling back to the goal. There were shouts of ‘off' against Armstrong but he received a yellow card and Shaw stepped up to take the penalty which he fired into the roof of the net. (1-1, 6 mins)
Both sides pushed forward when they had the ball and Tamworth defended strongly, while at the other end Sheridan was called just off side running onto a Tait through ball down the left.
A couple of niggly freekicks were awarded the home side's way around the 12 minute mark on the left of the area but neither of the moves from the dead balls troubled Alcock.
Both teams were finding stringing any meaningful moves together with the ball being held up in the breeze and bobbling around on the deck.
On 16 Tait took the ball down the left past his marker and floated a cross to the far post which evaded Burton, and Christie met it with his head but planted it just wide of the post much to his obvious frustration.
Rovers broke through Styche in the next move and won a corner which was headed clear by Wylde but the home side kept possession , winning another flag kick on the opposite side when Powell's cross came back off Tait. Again Wylde was first to the ball with a thumping header.
A straight up and down mis-kicked clearance by Alcock on 22 was watched but not controlled at all well by Ameobi and The Lambs survived the potential danger and on 24 Christie was booked for not retreating for a Rovers freekick inside the centre circle.
The scrappy nature of the game continued with no more than a couple of passes being achieved before the other side regained possession but on 27 Alcock was forced to run out of his area to clear the ball from Styche who was bearing down on a through ball which evaded the Lambs defence and then Tait found himself under pressure from Powell and had no option other than to boot the ball out of play.
From the throw on the right wing the home side worked the ball to the far post and Ameobi headed back in for Styche and Alcock made a great save to deny the resulting header a yard or so out.
Wylde headed away Powell's right wing cross on the half hour and a foul on Christie as the Lambs moved forward allowed Jay Smith to put the ball on the head of Wylde ghosting in at the far post, but he had strayed a yard off side and from another freekick on 33 Tait was booked for protesting another offside flag.
Pritchard sent Styche flying 25 yards out in a central position on 34 which gave the home side a freekick which Platt curled over the seven man wall and just wide of the right hand upright with Alcock in full flight.
A foul on Christie on the left wing set up Tait with a freekick level with the edge of the area on 36 buut Rovers got the ball away despite two shouts for handball by the Lambs faithful, who to be fair to their obvious bias, had a good view behind the goal.
Tamworth did get their rewards on 37 though when a superb pass allowed Pritchard to break through one on one against Burton and he finished sublimely from 18 yards to give The Lambs the lead (2-1, 37 mins)
A handball by Shaw outside the area gave Forest Green a freekick on 41 and set up another six / seven man wall but Platt made mincemeat of it with superb strike into the top corner (2-2, 41 mins).
Rovers won a corner in a minute of normal play to go in the first half and although Lyttle and Pritchard headed it away it was worked back for another which went short and then deflected out for another flag kick as the seconds ticked down. Brown pumped the ball into the area and Alcock punched it clear before Tait and then Christie tried to make routes in the Rovers box from the left but both times they were denied.
One minute added time was shown at the end of the half with The Lambs in possession and both sides shared the spoils at the break.
Rovers got the second half underway but Tamworth quickly gained possession and a Sheridan ball from the left whistled over the head of Jay Smith on 46.
The Lambs then won a left sided flag kick giving Shaw the chance of planting on the head of someone, but Burton collected and launched it long.
Alcock then did well to pluck a Stonehouse cross from the left out of the air on 50 and another cross from the same player was just too high for Styche a minute later as the home side did their best to camp out in the Tamworth half.
Jon Smith took the ball out of play under pressure from Lyttle on 54 but was awarded a corner and Platt put it on the head of Ameobi but there was no power behind his effort which Alcock gathered off the floor.
Hodgkiss then conceded a corner at the other end and Burton punched it clear but Tamworth countered through Christie and Shaw until Pritchard found himself offside and the move ended.
Tait took a knock on the hour and had to leave the field briefly after receiving treatment while a drop ball resumed play.
Lake-Gaskin robbed Brown on 61 to feed Pritchard down the right and he passed to Shaw but the latter failed to work it through and Rovers countered.
Styche tried his luck with a low shot from the right of the area on 63 but saw it deflect off the Lambs defence for a corner and Jon Smith hit a half power shot towards goal which failed to trouble Alcock.
There were mass celebrations by the 121 Lambs fans in the away end when Tamworth hit the back of the net for the third time on 65. Christie's initial shot struck the base of the post, Pritchard fired a low ball back in and when it came back out to Sheridan on the left of the area he made no mistake for his second goal in two games (3-2, 65).
MacKenzie then came on Lake-Gaskin in the first change of the game and the home side made one of their own shortly after and it was Morris who headed on for Ameobi to try a right footed shot on 72 but his effort lacked power and Alcock collected easily.
And it was 4-2 on 74 when Christie, not to be outdone in the goalscoring stakes by Sheridan unleashed an unstoppable shot from fully 25 yards after excellent thinking an unselfish play by Jay Smith robbed the Forest Green defence of the ball to feed Christie who jinked past his covering defender to get a sight at goal. It was far from ‘easy' as the Lambs fans were now chanting, but was a superb bit of play. (4-2, 74 mins)
Rovers tried to get back into the game and forced the Tamworth defence to work hard for the next few minutes but a silly handball in the area stopped their flow and allowed Alcock to take his time from the freekick.
A cross from the left by Platt found the head of Styche on 82 but he screwed the chance over the bar under pressure from Alcock and a foul by Preece on Christie earned him his ‘final warning' for repeated fouls and shortly after Briscoe replaced Sheridan putting three big men at the back for the final minutes but a low shot from Stonehouse hit Briscoe on the arm / chest and a penalty was awarded.
Platt stepped up and sent Alcock the wrong way from the spot to set up a tight last five minutes. (4-3, 85 mins)
There were shouts for another handball when the ball bounced into the Lambs area on 89 but the referee was having none of it and Tamworth moved quickly forward as three minutes added time was shown.
Styche got his foot around a ball at the byline and Alcock pushed it around his post for a corner which was met by the head of two Forest Green players but a push on Alcock gave the Lambs the freekick which went straight to Burton at the other end and Rovers moved forward but were unable to create before Mitchell and Jay Smith cleared any danger and the final whistle blew with the Lambs fans chanting ‘we are staying up' - but with a six point gap over FGR and four games to go it is not a done deal quite yet.....
Alcock, Tait, Wylde, Pritchard, Sheridan (83), Shaw, Lyttle, Smith Jay, Mitchell, Lake-Gaskin (MacKenzie 65), Christie
Subs: Murdock, Fankem, Mills
Forest Green Rovers Team:
Burton, Preece, Stonehouse, Brown (Ayres 79), Styche, Platt, Smith Jon, Powell (Morris 68), Ameobi, Armstrong, Hodgkiss
Subs: Davies, Thorne, Rankin
Referee: M. Bristow (Manchester)