Last minute goals kill Lambs hopes of a point
26 November 2005
Tamworth travelled the short distance North to face, for the first time at Moss Lane, Cheshire side Altrincham.
Scott Bevan returned after injury, but without Aaron Brown and Dave Bampton Mark Cooper had to change the team around in this vital league encounter ahead of next Saturday’s FA Cup tie.
First chance of the game came in the third minute following a good ball through the Lambs' defence by Stephen Bushell but Kyle Wilson’s shot from a tight angle was gathered by Bevan.
Jake Edwards flashed a header wide of the near post on 11 but neither side settled quickly on a bobbly pitch.
Tamworth forced the first corner on 12 after Graham Ward’s shot was deflected away but the Lambs couldn’t capitalise, and from another flag kick two minutes later the home defence held strong to clear any danger.
Altrincham looked quite lively coming forward but the final ball always let them down, while Tamworth seemed content to try a quick break from defence or midfield and soak up any pressure as and when it came.
Edwards set up Nathan Jackson on 18 but the ball was taken from his feet just before he struck it and from the resultant corner Matt Redmile hit the crossbar with a powerful header but the rebound was cleared.
A game of six-yard box pinball resulted from Warren Peyton’s left wing cross on 21 and despite calls for a penalty as boots from both sides tried to clear the danger, the ball was eventually hooked upfield to safety.
Altrincham’s first corner came on 31 minutes but Peyton’s strike from the edge of the area was deflected out by Ward.
Mark Cooper’s men failed to make any telling inroads toward Stuart Coburn’s goal while looking comfortable in defence and midfield as the home side continued to push forward and Colin Potts forced a fantastic save on 40 out of Bevan from 35 yards with a right foot drive that looked destined to nestle in the back of the goal.
That was a wake up call for The Lambs and from a good move forward, Nathan Jackson was unfortunate not to add to last week’s winner at Canvey shortly after as Coburn was left stranded on the edge of the area and could only look on in anguish as Peter Band cleared the ball off the line.
As the wintry heavens opened at Moss Lane Colin Little was denied the opening goal by the linesman’s flag on 43 after Redmile and Smith failed to clear a dangerous ball in.
Jake Edwards then tried his luck from the edge of the area following battling play by Kyle Storer, but Coburn was equal to his low effort.
Tamworth started the second half in 3-5-2 formation and more positively than their hosts with Edwards once again showing skill in the area, but neither Jackson, nor Heggs could connect with his ball across the face of goal.
The Lambs looked the more likely to break the deadlock showing good interplay out of midfield and down the wings but the final ball in or shot lacked the necessary quality against a numerous home defence.
Two substitutions by the home side brought some life to a previously lack lustre Altrincham attack but, like Tamworth, chances being created were few and far between and not taken at all well when they were.
Peyton tried his luck from the virtually halfway line on 82 only to see it skim the top of the bar as Altrincham pushed on, but Tamworth broke immediately and a deep cross from Edwards into Coburn’s area saw Carl Heggs just fail to connect fully at the far post.
Eddie Anaclet found himself as a forward after Heggs went off for Jimmy Turner and Hugh McAuley replaced Kyle Storer but the Lambs conceded a killer blow in the 89th minute when Little followed in a parried shot. And in stoppage time Little’s shot was parried by Bevan only for substitute James Robinson to knock home from close range to make it 2-0 to the home side.
Heggs (Turner 84), Edwards, Jackson (Motteram 69)
Ward, Storer (McAuley 88), Melton
Anaclet, Smith, Redmile, Touhy
Subs: Gayle, Francis
Wilson (Lugsden 59), Little
Peyton, Bushell, Owen, Potts
Adams (Robinson 69), Band, Maddox, Scott
Subs: Chalmers, Butler, Munroe
Yellow Cards: Maddox 54, Jackson 54
Att: 824 (116 from Tamworth)