Lambs through to last 32
04 December 2007
Both Gary Mills and Neil Aspin made a number of changes to their respective starting elevens for the Setanta Shield game, with Mills’hand being forced due to illness in Gary Sheldon.
Craig McAughtrie came back from injury and picked up the captains armband with Adie Smith on the bench.
Neither side took control of the game in the opening 5 minutes on a breezy but otherwise perfect night for football.
At 10 minutes much the same could be said of the game with the style of play erratic at the best of times.
This continued past the quarter of an hour mark until the 18th minute when a Harrogate freekick found it’s way to Lee Whittington who somehow fired past the right hand upright with his shot from near the left upright after the Lambs defence had failed to clear.
Jonti Richter’s header back into the area on 21 was good enough but Matt Williams was too far behind the last defender to capitalise on Tamworth’s first real meaningful attack.
Nick Wright’s header on for Williams almost produced the opening goal on 24 only but he didn’t get a full purchase on the shot and it floated over the corner of crossbar and post from close range on the turn.
Williams had a lot more time on 26 from Michael Briscoe’s ball over the top of the visiting defence but he struck his shot after it’s first bounce too early and cleared the goal again from 25 yards.
Bampton had a shot at goal after persistent work from Chris Nurse but his effort on the volley went wide.
Nurse put a low shot at Paul Musslewhite on 35 before Nick Wright burst down the left and almost casually put the ball into the far corner over the despairing dive from the visiting ‘keeper on 37. (1-0) – his fifth strike in ten games.
Wright almost hit the back of the net again with a right footed strike from 8 yards but Musslewhite was equal to it, as Jake Sheridan left the field for treatment after a crunching tackle.
Harrogate started the second half in boisterous mood taking the game to Tamworth and a clash involving Dave Bampton and Denny Ingram saw the Lambs midfielder go into the book.
Palethorpe made a cheeky double save when Whittington attempted shot popped up at him when he was already on his back.
But Tamworth countered and made 2-0 via the head of a Harrogate defender under pressure from Jake Sheridan on 51. Williams received the ball on the left wing a chipped it goalward over the advancing keeper with Sheridan rushing in, and he beat the incoming defender by milliseconds to nod it unorthodoxly over the line off Harrogate’s Leigh Wood (confirmed by photographer behind the goal!)
Palethorpe denied a sure goal from Whittington who found space and time on the edge of the box on 57 as Harrogate came back into the game but fired largely off target.
Wright capitalised on a high bounce over the last defender to strike at goal on 65 forcing Musslewhite into a low stop.
The game then opened up a bit with both sides moving the ball around between the referee’s stops - the inclusion of Marcus Ebdon for Nurse making a positive impact on the Lambs side.
Williams won a freekick on the edge of the area on 80 after being sandwiched whilst trying to turn for goal. After Williams kick was retaken due to encroachment McAughtrie hit an unstoppable dead ball into the net giving Musselwhite absolutely no chance of even seeing it as it flew in from 25 yards. (3-0)
Harrogate won a rare corner with an even rarer foray into the Lambs area but there were worried for McAughtrie who went down holding his lower leg on 88 leaving Tamworth a man short for a couple of minutes.
Lee Whittington got a consolation goal in the final minute (3-1) with his low shot going in off the post and keeper but it mattered little as The Lambs had already booked their place in the fourth round and a potential trip to a Blue Sq. Premier club on Dec 22nd.
Palethorpe, Bains, Law, Briscoe, McAughtrie, Bampton (Lyttle 82), Sheridan, Nurse (Ebdon 68), Williams, Wright, Richter (Langdon 82)
Subs: Smith, Seal
Musselwhite, Price, Peat, Ingram, Wood, Dunning, Hunter, Norton (James 70), Hackworth, Whittington, Bettney
Subs: Holland, Merris, Hume, Hirst
Yellow Cards: Bampton 50, Wood 55, McAuightrie 58
Referee: Mr. S. Martin (Stafford)
MOM: As sponsored by match sponsors ASDA, Tamworth, Interlink Express, The Sandwich Factory:
Craig McAughtrie, Michael Briscoe, Nick Wright