Mills goal a boon for Lambs
29 November 2011
Tamworth welcome the Iron of Braintree to The Lamb for the first time on a nippy and damp evening with both sides separated by just a single point, although the visitors held the upper hand in terms of the one and only previous encounter between the two back in September when Braintree ran out 3-1 winners.
Marcus Law made five changes to the side that suffered defeat at Darlington on Saturday with Duane Courtney returning from suspension, Francino Francis returning from injury while Danny Mills, Kyle Patterson and Ibby Farah (making his full debut) coming in after starting on the bench on Saturday.
Following a minutes applause for Gary Speed The Lambs for the game underway kicking towards the Castle End.
Thomas struck for goal from the left channel inside the first 60 seconds and ‘keeper McDonald took it at head height.
Deecked out in possibly the first completely silver team kit at The Lambs the visitors had a half chance on 3 when a deep freekick bounced into the area but it didn't trouble Hedge.
With Tamworth having scored just 4 times in the opening half on an hour so far this season the odds weren't in favour of the home side taking an early lead but as at Darlington, initial signs looked promising and on 9 Farah turned on a ball in the box and curled it just wide of the right hand upright.
Then on 11, after doing all the hard work Mills squandered a good chance. Patterson found him after a good run, but Mills sliced his shot from 18 yards harmlessly wide of the mark.
Bailey was forced to put the ball into the car park rather than concede possession in the corner around the quarter of an hour mark but despite there being a goal in most of the other BSB Premier games Farah's ball into the box went completely wrong and landed at the back of the terracing.
High studs by the same player caught Peters in the centre circle on 21 and earned him a yellow card - his second in 42 minutes of football since joining from Cardiff. Peters needed treatment before returning to the action, although it initially looked like Braintree would be making a substitution.
The visitors won a corner but it came to nothing and Tamworth attacked with Mills finding Thomas on 26 who returned the favour, but the former was unable to get a clean strike and eventually won a corner which went short. It was hoofed clear by Reason who then found himself on the edge of the Tamworth box and hit a right footed shot at Hedge which he dropped and smothered.
Yaidon felled Thomas as he ran down the left channel on 33 and Braintree worked the ball back out but Green fired it back in and Mills header almost caught out McDonald who jumped highest to collect the ball.
A corner was then won on the right and Thomas sent the ball onto the head of Mills but once again McDonald caught the chance as it went towards the top right hand corner.
Another deep cross from the left ended with a Mills headed on 40, but again his targeting was off and the ball went out for a goal kick some yards to the left of the goal.
Green prevented Wright and Reason scoring with a diving sliding tackle shortly after and all games in the league had at least one goal, other than this one.
On 45 Davis fed Yaidon on the right and he slammed a shot towards goal forcing Hedge into a save to push the ball out past the left and upright and the flag kick hit the top of the cross bar before nestling in the netting.
Two minutes added time were shown at the end of the half as Braintree won a freekick on the right wing. Hedge punched it clear but only as far as Yaidon and the keeper was well positioned to take his return header.
Braintree got the second half underway and with there being no segregation in place the Lambs fans made their way to the Meadow Street end hoping to see the net ripple in front of them sooner rather than later.
Farah miscued an attempted lob of the keeper from the left wing on 46 and sent the ball out of the ground and then Tait tried a similar thing from the right on 48 which was a lot closer to the goal, but also off target.
Another Tait cross on 50 was taken at the second attempt by McDonald as Patterson came rushing into the box.
Yiadon made a jinking run through the heart of the Lambs midfield to the edge of the area but screwed his shot high and wide of the mark on 54.
At the other end and as Tamworth waited to make their first change, they went on the attack and Tait's right wing ball in was just too high for three teammates in the box.
However, the throw by Braintree on their right of defence fell to Green and his ball into the area was hooked past McDonald inside the far post from a central position to give Tamworth the lead (1-0, 57 mins).
Wright set up a freekick 25 yards out of goal on 59 but after a lot of tweaking his run, the shot went straight to Hedge, much to the amusement of the home faithful.
St. Aimie's inclusion added another dimension to The Lambs impetus but another Tait ball on the left was too long.
Then, on 62 Mills crossed from the right onto the head of St. Aimie who was well positioned but couldn't keep his header down below the crossbar.
Braintree countered and had the ball in the net when Symons curled to the far post and Chilaka finished but from an offside position, so the visitor's cheers were wasted.
The same player lifted a shot well over the bar from the edge of the area on 66 as Green dropped to the floor nursing a bad knock to his midriff, suffered earlier in the game and had to be replaced.
Hedge booted the ball clear of the incoming Chilaka in the next move as Braintree continued to go in search of an equaliser and seemed to be that little bit quicker to the ball winning a freekick on the edge of the Lambs area on 72 which was blocked effectively by t he defensive wall.
Both sides failed to make any headway at either end as the time ticked by and so fresh legs came into play to try and liven both teams up in the final 10 minutes.
In fact, Quinton did force Hedge into a save on 85 striking low from 25 yards to the keeper's right and a minute later a good run by Yiadon into t he box from the left was almost but not quite met by Chilaka at the near post.
A late challenge in front of the shed involving Bailey on McDonald led to handbags at five paces when Christie had hands raised to his face and after a long period of deliberation the Lambs striker was booked and Davis was sent off for the act. Bailey also received a book for his initial tackle.
Five minutes added time was shown at the end of the game which ended without further incident.
Hedge, Tait, Habergham, Courtney, Francis, Mills, Thomas, Patterson (Christie 81), Green (McDonald 68), Kanyuka, Farah (St. Aimie 56)
Substitutes: Barrow, Shariff
Yellow Cards: Farah 21, Christie 90
Braintree Town Team:
McDonald, O'Connor, Peters (Steven 77), Wells, Bailey, Yaidon, Davis, Symons (Quinton 84), Reason (Johnson 82), Chilaka, Wright
Substitutes: Mark, Jones
Yellow Cards: Bailey 90
Red Cards: Davis 90
Man of the Match: Pickerings Solicitors chose Danny Mills
Referee: Mr. K. Johnson