After notching the fifth unbeaten game on the bounce (and one defeat in 17) with a comeback point away at Stockport the previous Saturday, Andy Morrell made 2 changes to the starting eleven. Trinity arrived at the ground on the back of a win over struggling FCUM with generally mid table form since the season kicked off, including the 2-0 defeat at the hands of The Lambs at Northolme in mid September.
Gainsborough got the game underway, attacking the Castle End in the first half in their fluorescent yellow kit. With The Lambs trying out a new formation that allowed Durrell a free role, the visitors enjoyed more of the play in the first few minutes and Drury should have given Gainsborough the lead on 5 but his header was deflected away from the target by his own number 10, Wilson and Tamworth survived. The play was fractious from then on and didn’t lend itself to the footballing purists as neither side good get a grip on the ball or forge an opening in the opponents half. Preston was booked for a foul by the tunnel on 27 and the deep freekick was headed away. The first chance for the Lambs fell on 30 when Dyer cut down the right and shot across the face of the goal without really testing Budtz. On 33 a slip by Preston allowed D'Laryea to run into the box and his shot was saved by Belshaw, with his feet, around the penalty spot area. This proved a bit of a wake up call and The Lambs started to play more purposeful football in the Gainsborough half to the appreciation of the home faithful. After a minutes applause in memory of Ryan Wynn, a Durrell freekick on 42 was met by the head of Preston but his header from 12 yards went over the bar. Racchi struck from 25 yards high over the target on 45, and at the other end, in the one minute of added time, Wilson shaped to shoot but the ball was nipped off his toes by Fowler and Wilson’s speculative effort shortly before the whistle drew the half to a close.
HT: Tamworth 00 Gainsborough Trinity
Tamworth restarted proceedings but were grateful to the mis-timed touch of former Lamb Russell on 46 that saw him unable to control the ball in a good position on the edge of the box. A 53rd minute corner from Trinity to into the six yard box before being cleared, and a deep free kick from the right had to be pushed over the bar by Belshaw on 56. Wilson missed a golden headed chance on the hour with a misdirected effort that looked a certainty. Morrell made his first change of the game on 64, replacing Racchi with Roberts. A rare spell of Lambs pressure in the final third forced a corner on 67 and when Durrell sent the ball from the right of the area back across the box Preston met it with a sweet volley into the far corner (1-0, 68 mins). Belshaw needed treatment after taking a knock defending his goal from a quick Gainsborough equaliser on 70 but was fine to continue. Dyer sprinted onto a ball down the left on 74 and cut it back for Roberts to strike at goal but his attempt went just wide of the mark. After picking up a yellow card to a foul on Taylor on 78, Picton was replaced on 79. Gainsborough had the ball into the net with a diving finish on 80 but offside (given) and deliberate handball (not penalised) ruled out the move immediately. The offside flag denied the visitors again on 86 as Newsham finished but hit the woodwork. Taylor nearly capped his MOM performance with a goal on 88 but dragged his shot wide of the left hand upright. Strong was booked for a late challenge on the Trinity right wing on 90 and the visitors pressed but Tamworth defender strongly until Newsham got header away but it was well wide of the mark. Then in the third minute of the four added minutes Roberts shot was parried by the keper and Dyer was left with a simple finish to make it 2-0.