Last minute equaliser denies 10 men Lambs
02 April 2005
Tamworth boss Mark Cooper apologised to his players at half time after being sent from the field of play after just 99 seconds at The Lawn. But the Lambs' boss felt that his sending-off was a harsh: "I have never seen anything like it in all my playing days. I cannot blame the referee for saying I committed a foul but I think a straight red card in the second minute of the game could only spoil it for everyone. We were forced to play a defensive 4-4-1 formation and we did our utmost to stop Forest Green coming through us and made it into a battle."
Cooper appeared to take out Charilie Griffin from behind which Cooper disputes and although referee Mr Turner has agreed to review the evidence on video it meant an early bath for the player / manager who watched the rest of the game form the stands.
But Tamworth looked by far the better side in the first half and when Tris Whitman fed Bob Taylor just before the half hour mark, the veteran striker showed some excellent skill in the six- yard box and slammed home the opening goal.
Forest Green had a number of second half chances but luck seemed to be going Tamworth's way with the home side shooting over, wide or 'keeper Ryan Price pulling off good saves to deny them.
Taylor appeared to be clean through late in the half and had the flag not gone up for offside long after he had started his run and collected the ball, it could have been all over, but Forest Green got a lifeline in the second minute of time added on.
Aaron Brown, who had been made captain for the first time, had been having a tremendous game but when Robert Gill ran accross him and went down under the challenge referee Mr Turner pointed to the spot. Price saved Griffin's initial spot kick well, but it was too powerful to hold and the the same player slammed home the rebound.
"I gave Aaron the captaincy to see how he handles the responsibility. He has all the makings of a good player but needs the confidence and he did very well today. We are unbeaten in eight now and I was disappointed we did not pick up the manager of the month award last time. I say 'we' because it is all the squad's doing. They have a fantastic spirit and wouldn't do what we asked if they didn't want to. I may not feature again this season because of today, but it will give me and Rich (Dryden) the chance to look at the rest of the squad in readiness for next."
Tamworth: Price, Adie Smith, Bampton, Brown, Simpson, Whitman, Cooper, Ebdon, Morrison, Marcelle, Taylor. Subs Not Used: Storer, Robinson, Francis, Sheppard.
Sent Off: Cooper Booked: Bampton, Whitman, Taylor, Ebdon.