Lambs topple Pitmen
31 October 2015
For the Halloween fixture, The Lamb welcomed The Pitmen, in 12th place, in the much anticipated local derby against Andy Morrell’s 6th placed home side.
On the back of the storming victory away at Lowestoft a week previously, Morrell made no changes to the starting eleven, meanwhile Bernard McNally’s starting eleven featured no fewer than five former Lambs in James, Perry, Trainer, Todd and Regan.
Hednesford got the game underway attacking the Castle End in the first half and Obeng had an early attempt go well wide of the mark from distance.
Tamworth forced their second corner of the game on 6 when Newton’s ball found Mettam but the Pitmen defence put it behind.
The Lambs exerted some pressure on Crane’s goalmouth around the tenth minute but the defence held strong as the ball moved around the area.
A 12th minute freekick on the left of the midfield was whipped in by Durrell and Preston met it with his head but Crane somehow reacted quickly to bat it away at chest height for a corner.
The ball came in and Newton met it with his head but again Crane was quickly down and pushed it back out for his defence to clear away from danger.
James put a late challenge in on Durrell on 20 and get a suitable reaction from The Shed but the offside flag was raised from the freekick so Crane was able to restart play.
Crane prevented Newton from bagging a right footed low strike on 23 after the forward had robbed the ball of the visiting defence on the edge of the area.
At the other end, a 27th minute corner came out to James and his right foot shot went just wide of the right hand corner of bar and post.
And then Newton’s header from a Durrell freekick span into the hands of Crane but Crane was unable to do anything about his shot on 31 which came when the striker latched onto Racchi’s precise pass to the edge of the area and shot low past the keeper with a defender on his heels.
Durrell made a mazy run on 37 but lifted his shot agonisingly over the bar from 18 yards and while there were a few shouts from the terraces as the players held nothing back, play continued without too much interruption from the referee’s whistle.
A deep freekick in added time skimmed off the head of Clarke and then a defender for a corner on the left which Durrell floated into the area and Crane gathered easily and the half time whistle blew.
The Lambs got the second half underway and nearly made an early breakthrough via Mettam’s through ball to Durrell and subsequently flick through to Newton, but the offside flag prevented a one on one starting 25 yards out, against Crane.
Bailey was booked for a crunching late tackle on Warlow on 54 and when the visitors were awarded a freekick on 60 Williams curled his shot a few feet wide of the right hand post.
Mettam received the ball on the right from Warlows cross field pass and tried to set up Newton on 62 but it was cleared by the defence.
Crane did well to deny Newton’s movement and quick thinking in the area and snap shot of the loose ball on 63.
Burns allowed Todd to nip the ball away from him on 67 but Racchi was on hand to take it back off him and prevent the shot, which everyone was expecting, from happening.
Durrell made way for Dyer on 71 and Clarke was booked for a challenge in the middle of the park on 72 before being replaced by Roberts on 74.
In a rare moment of threat on Belshaw’s goal, Hednesford had the ball in the net on 76 but the flag had already been raised.
Johnson then did more than enough to forge a shot and almost equalised but the ball struck the inside of the far post from the left of the box and rebound out on 79, preserving the Lambs lead.
Morrell replaced Mettam for the final 6 minutes and Newton was booked for a foul on the Hednesford left wing. James was booked for stopping the run of Racchi through the middle on 88 and a corner resulted from the freekick which resulted in keep ball in the corner and a goalkick.
Four minutes added time were shown at the end of the game and Crane ventured forward for a late corner as the Pitmen put late pressure on the Lambs back line.
Another late freekick saw Crane go up field but the kick went long and the whistle blew on a Lambs victory.
Belshaw, Burns, Warlow, Racchi, Tomassen, Preston, Durrell (Dyer 71), Clarke (Roberts 74), Newton, Mettam (Morrell 84), Green
Subs: Strong, Davies
Yellow: Racchi 35, Clarke 72, Newton 85
Hednesford Town Team:
Crane, Williams, James, Bailey (c.), Regan, Trainer, Williams, Obeng (Modest 86), Perry (Johnson 71), Thomas, Todd (Ennis 79)
Subs: Digie, Disney
Yellow: Bailey 54, James 88
Man of the Match: Tamworth Herald chose Dan Newton
Referee: Mr T. Bramall