Lambs work hard for a point in London
12 September 2009
Tamworth made their first trip to Church Road, the home of Hayes and Yeading, with just one request from boss Gary Mills - more of the same - as The Lambs looked to continue their superb start to the season and hopefully build on their position of fifth in the league.
With Alex Rodman ruled out with a hamstring pull Bradley Pritchard took his place, returning from suspension. With Dominic Langdon still on the injured list, there were encouraging signs as Michael Wylde trained in full kit before the game and although Neil MacKenzie was named on the subs bench he watched from the stand.
Hayes kicked off proceedings in the glorious sunshine and pushed forward but were unable to control the ball in the final third allowing Blackwood to fire long.
Wright was denied a chance at goal by a sliding tackle from Cadmore on 3 and Sheridan's cross went too long a minute late.
On 4 Marwa missed a golden chance to open the scoring when a cross from the right flicked off his head, and rebounded to his feet but he sliced the resulting shot wide of the near post from 8 yards.
Tamworth won a corner on the right on 6 which Shaw took right footed and El-Abd headed long for a throw on the other side which came to nothing and shortly after Pritchard was called offside from Wright's through ball.
For the second time in the game Alcock took a short goal kick to Blackwood and when he received the ball again he played it short to Smith who hit it long upfield allowing Blackwood to try and break through but he was felled and won a freekick. Wright flicked the ball into the danger area but play was halted again by a foul as Tait and then Pritchard tried to get a shot away.
A dangerous cross from Binns went into the side netting from the left wing on 12.
James put a searching ball into the Lambs area on 13 only to find Binns a yard behind it and Lyttle cleared on 14. And more short passing moves brought the ball forward again for the home side who won a right sided corner on 15. It didn't pose a threat as Shaw hoofed it clear but Hayes were continuing to cause some problems with their quick if not entirely accurate passing style of play.
The Lambs regained possession but lost it again when Smith took too long to put his pass away and almost paid the price as debutante for Hayes, Canham (S) looked to thread the ball through only to vastly over hit it harmlessly back to Alcock.
A freekick was won on the right on 20 which Shaw saw headed strongly away and kicked into the sun, Blackwood fired a long left sided freekick from the half way line only for Hayes to bat it away.
Canham received a high ball into the area on 25 and although he seemed in two minds as to come for it or not, Alcock was ultimately presented with an easy catch as the Hayes forward's cross failed to come off.
Canham again forced Alcock to work hard and drew him out of his area on 26 to boot the chased ball clear of danger as their one touch football continued unabated to but no avail.
The home side pushed on once again and again it was the final ball that let them down after some more one touch football found them in the final third where Lyttle blocked a shot on the edge of the area and as Tamworth moved forward Wright found himself off side.
Blackwood brought down James on 31 in a central position 30 yards out setting up a direct freekick for Hayes. Three players stood over it, but it was Green who fired it low and around the wall into the far left corner for the opening goal of the game (0-1, 31 mins)
Pritchard almost got his outstretched boot to a right wing cross from Sheridan on 35. The latter won a corner from another ball from the right on 36 and although Briscoe's header was on target it was not powerful enough and Hayes broke down the right through James. He got the better of Briscoe and the Lambs defender had his name taken for a clumsy challenge. Cadmore fired in the dead ball and Binns tried a shot, but he got the direction all wrong from 20 yards and put his effort onto the terracing.
Sheridan and Cochrane tussled midway into the Hayes half on 38 setting up Shaw once again with a freekick but Wright's header was way off the mark.
Canham fed Mulley on 40 and he forced a good save from Alcock while at the other end Wright burst onto a through ball but Overland made himself big and blocked his placed shot.
Pritchard tried hard to get the ball into the Hayes box on 43 but saw his effort put behind for a corner which Briscoe was unable to control, and as the first half drew to a close, with 2 minutes added time being shown, Wright hit a hopeful shot from 20 yards over the bar.
Gary Mills made a change at half time, bringing Benjamin on for Lake-Gaskin to give the Lambs a bit more strength and Tamworth kicked off the second half and with a positive attitude from the first whistle.
Reverting back to a more familiar 4-4-2 gave The Lambs a more solid look and an injury to Mulley forced him from the field on 48 for the home side.
Hayes threatened with a corner which Alcock punched clear on 50 and Tamworth looked to build from the back once again.
Lyttle forced Overland to drop a firmly struck cross from the right on 54 and a push from El-Abd on Sheridan on 54 gave Shaw a freekick but it was wasted.
Pritchard fed Blackwood on the edge of the area on 55 but he found numerous Hayes defenders in the way and his shot was blocked.
Benjamin then notched his first strike in a Lambs shirt after good work from Wright saw him burst down the right before hitting a low ball into the centre of the area for the former Leicester man to slam home (1-1 57 mins).
Pritchard was felled under a challenge from Cochrane just inches outside the area on 58 and Briscoe hit the powerful dead ball straight at Overland who could do nothing more than parry it clear as the travelling faithful burst into song once again.
Lyttle hit a freekick into the area from just inside the Hayes half on 62 and Blackwood was just a hair's breadth away from connecting with a header while Wright was knocked off target as he shaped to shoot with a fair shoulder to shoulder challenge as he bore down on goal on 63, by Cochrane.
Tamworth captain Chris Smith then brought a superb save from Alcock with a slightly over hit back header shortly after which saw The Lambs keeper at full stretch on the edge of his area and Pritchard received a booking for a challenge on James on 66 which heralded a drinks break for both sides in the afternoon sunshine.
And Blackwood was the scorer of the Lambs second goal after Benjamin did well to knock Briscoe's long freekick into his path inside the area allowing the Lambs defender to rifle home from 8 yards out. (2-1, 69 mins).
Cochrane hit a good shot at Alcock on 70 and Smith picked up a booking for a foul on the left side of the field on James a minute or two later which allowed Hayes a spell of possession.
With 13 minutes to go Sean Canham stole in to level the tie with a close range finish at the near post after The Lambs had lost possession on the half way line and Mark Canham fed the ball through to him (2-2, 77 mins).
Mills brought himself into the fray with just over 10 remaining, replacing Shaw and slotting into the middle of the park, but it was James who had the next slice of action, sending an inch perfect pass in towards Canham on 82 only for the striker to scuff his shot and force / allow Alcock to push it behind for a corner which came to nothing.
Hayes won another flag kick on 84 but headed the chance well wide of the far post form the back of the area. Mills put in a telling challenge on Marc Canham on 87 to deny him a clear shot on goal from the edge of the area and at the other end, Blackwood found Pritchard but his cross from the by-line crept out of playas the final three additional minutes started.
Canham got a shot away under pressure from Briscoe but failed to trouble Alcock and despite a good move forward involving Pritchard and Benjamin, Wright found himself just a few feet off side when the final ball was played into the area as the final whistle blew on a point each.
Alcock, Tait, Blackwood, Smith (capt), Wright, Pritchard, Sheridan, Shaw (Mills 79), Lyttle, Briscoe, Lake-Gaskin (Benjamin HT)
Subs: MacKenzie, Bruce, Apps
Hayes & Yeading Team:
Overland, Green, Cadmore (capt) , Ruby, Marwa, Mulley (Canham M 49) Binns, El-Abd, Cochrane(Daly 74), James, Canham S
Subs: Fitzgerald, Little, Preddie
Referee: Mr. C. Berry (Cheam, Surrey)