Lambs work hard to inflict first defeat on Coasters
29 October 2016
35 days since the Lambs last ran out at home and a week after the 2-1 away victory over Salford, The Lambs returned home for the first of two games against the top two clubs.
The first saw league leaders Fylde bring their unbeaten league record to Tamworth on a damp and cold October Saturday and with them former Lambs Richie Baker, Brendon Daniels, and Dan Bradley in the Coasters ranks.
Andy Morrell was forced to change things in his first XI following the midweek cup defeat at Halesowen, making two changes to the side from seven days previously.
Fylde got the game underway with The Lambs attacking the Meadow Street End in the first half.
Inside the fifth minute a long Morley ball down the left channel found Mills who cut back and forced a stop from keeper Taylor.
On 6 Kennedy was on hand to clear the same player’s goal bound shot off the line after Taylor and Newton combined to set Mills up with the chance to strike at the target. Fylde countered and forced three corners in quick succession but The Lambs defence held strong. Newton was unleashed down the left on 10 but couldn’t get enough power on his near post shot to trouble Taylor too much.
A Rowe strike deflected off the defence for a corner on 14 and it was struck similarly for another, and then a scramble put it behind for another which was worked away from the danger area but only as far as Dixon who struck low and tamely into the arms of Belshaw.
Mills was upended as he advanced over the halfway line on 18 but the freekick was headed away and Hardy advanced only to find Lane in fine defensive form.
On 22 Newton was put clean through with a superb chipped pass over the back of the Fylde defence and the striker lifted his shot over the keeper but also the target from 6 yards.
A minute later Newton received the ball on the left and smashed a shot goalward which, had it not bent away from the target, would have beaten Taylor and taken the goal out of the ground too.
Fylde goal machine Rowe struck the woodwork with a fine strike from the right channel on 27 which curled and rebounded agonisingly (for the visiting fans) back off the crossbar.
Morley then struck from distance and it somehow didn’t go in under the far corner of bar and post, earning another round of applause from the Lambs faithful.
Mills curled a fine ball into the box but it was too far away from Newton for him to get a touch and force it home. Dyer was pulled down on the edge of the area on 37 amid shouts for a penalty, and Morley struck the freekick left footed on 38 but it was blocked by the wall and cleared.
A left wing cross was glanced wide of the far post by Rowe’s header on 39. One minute added time was shown at the end of the first half which ended with a rousing round of applause from the home crowd.
Tamworth got the game back underway and there seemed to be no let up in pace as both sides performed just as well as each other in a positive footballing display.
As the minutes ticked on a little bit of frustration could be sensed from the visitors and on 55 Mills unleashed an angled drive that was off target but continued to signal The Lambs intentions.
A tame shot from Dixon rolled harmlessly into the arms of Belshaw on 59 but the visitors kept up with their pressure and forced a corner on the hour in front of the fluorescent orange travelling fans but it came to nothing.
Finley was booked for bringing Dyer down 10 on 65 and from Deeney’s deadball Newton side footed home past keeper Taylor with the outside of his boot to send the partisan faithful wild (1-0, 66 mins)
Former Lamb Daniels came on, on 72 and Davies replaced Taylor on 77.
Burns went down under a hefty challenge on 80 but was Ok to continue and then a Daniels freekick was put into the net by Rowe at the second attempt.
He was offside when he initially struck the ball against the post and finished it from a yard out despite the flag.
Mills latched on the ball down the left and threaded it to Newton who’s shot rebounded off the keeper for a left sided corner on 86. The ball came out for Davies and he struck low and hard for goal, but was denied by keeper Taylor.
With two minutes to play, Morley headed the ball behind for a Fylde corner and it was eventually cleared away to the relief of most around the ground.
Three minutes added time were shown as Smith replaced Mills and Fylde pushed hard for the final kicks of the game until the final whistle blew on a hard worked victory.
Belshaw (c.), Burns, Morley, Deeney, Jones, Lane, Mills (Smith 90), Clarke, Newton, Dyer, Taylor (Davies 77)
Subs: Davis, Morrell, Opoku
YC: Deeney 72
AFC Fylde Team:
Taylor, Holmes, Kennedy, Langley (c.)Hughes, Bond (Hughes 82), Hardy, Finley, Rowe, Dixon (Daniels 72), Bradley
Subs: Thompson, Blinkhorn, Baker
YC: Finley 65
Man of the Match: Footsteps Treatment Clinic chose Greg Mills
Referee: Mr. S. Mather