Lambs turn it on and destroy Blyth
19 January 2008
After defeating Blyth Spartans at Croft Park last weekend to progress to the last 16 in the FA Trophy the two sides renewed acquaintances at The Lamb this time around with a very important three points on offer to the victors.
With Blyth one place above the relegation zone and Tamworth two places above the Northumbrian side a win would do either side the world of good, and of course, Gary Mills was looking for his squad to build on the good display which saw then victorious seven days previously.
Although hampered slightly by the league (rather than FA) rule in which he can only name two short term and two long term loans on the team sheet, Mills handed home debuts to Alex Cisak, Colin Marrison and Martin Foster as well as Gareth Evans and Jamie Reed.
After sustained pressure from the first whistle, Dave Bampton carried on where he left off last week by firing home inside four minutes to give the Lambs the lead – this time from 25 yards with a right footed drive past Adam Bartlett. (1-0)
A Gareth Sheldon corner was almost forced over the line on 7 but Bartlett managed to smother the shot on the line before it was cleared away and Tamworth kept up the pressure as Reed jinked around the last defender on the line and cut the ball back to Jonti Richter on 9 but Bartlett dropped to deny him.
Reed forced another corner on 15 and almost made Gary Brown take the ball over his own line with a low shot on 18 but the Blyth defender stopped well and cleared.
The Lambs kept up the pressure and won another corner on 22 which Bartlett rose to pluck off the head of Marrison before Des Lyttle won another on 25 which Blyth cleared despite Michael Briscoe flick on.
Mills was forced to make an early substitution when Sheldon hobbled off to be replaced by Nurse.
Then Richter unleashed a right footed half volley to win a corner on 32 which Bartlett fisted away and on 34 Marrison shot at goal only to be denied by the visiting keeper again and Reed collected the rebound with his back to goal, turned and took a shot, but cleared the bar by just a few feet.
Blyth broke quickly to the other end and Robert Dale had the first real chance of the game for his side but watched in agony as his lob from wide right cleared the cross bar and then on 36 Cisak was well placed to deny Chris McCabe’s driven effort.
Reed then tried a curling shot on the turn on the edge of the area only to watch as it went over the bar again.
Brown denied Marrison a goal on 45 with a clearance off the line from his shot from the left of the area and although Blyth broke from the chance the Lambs defence was on hand to stop the danger.
The second half started with Tamworth pushing forward again but Blyth were not quite so easy to break down as they had been in the first half.
In fact the visitors were proving to be quite stubborn at the back and Richter showed his frustration by trying a long range effort on 58 which he screwed wide.
However Lyttle won a penalty on the hour after being felled by Dale and Marrison stepped up to stroke home the resultant spot kick to make it 2-0.
Marrison was now playing for fun and after a cheeky trick pass in the centre of the park just failed to connect with Lyttle’s cross in to the box on 65.
A second penalty was forthcoming on 72 when Richard Forster brought down Reed as he shaped to shoot and Marrison stepped up and fired home again, this time to the other side to make it 3-0.
Reed looked as though he had been brought down again a few minutes later but Mr Hutchinson was having none of it and waved play on.
Tamworth continued to control the game without too much trouble and Richter curled an effort over on 80 before Mills made a double attacking substitution with 5 to go, bringing on Nick Wright and Matt Williams.
Four minutes added time came and with it a booking for Wright but more importantly three points on the back of a very good showing.
Cisak, Lyttle, Langdon, Briscoe, Evans, Bampton, Richter (Williams 85), Foster, Marrison, Reed (Wright 85), Sheldon (Nurse 28)
Subs: Robinson, Law
Bartlett, Boyle, Williams G, Snowdon, Forster, Brown, Webster, McCabe (Hedley HT), Dale, Bell, Houlanhan
Subs: Christensen, Fenton (only three)
Yellow Cards: Marrison 63, Wright 90
Referee: Mr. M. Hutchinson (Notts)
Chicago MOM: chosen by match sponsors: Hanson Building Products and Tamworth Herald: Richter and Reed