Missed chances cost Lambs
24 January 2012
With injuries piling up and a suspension for Richard Tait there were changes required to the Lambs side as they travelled to face Ebbsfleet United. Their hosts were only ahead of The Lambs in the league table on goal difference but had only lost twice in their last nine outings, while Marcus Law's side were desperately looking for their first league win after six run outs in the competition since the end of November and had let two leads slip at the weekend.
Law had moved quickly after the 3-2 reversal to Barrow to bring in a couple of new faces into the squad in Luke Hubbins and Harvey Headley and so there were five changes to the starting eleven that had lost to the Bluebirds at the weekend including the return of Jonathon Hedge in goal.
Decked out in white and black Tamworth kicked off towards the covered end behind the goal and on the slippy surface after a day of rain, the ball skipped around quickly in the opening exchanges.
2: Hubbins, playing in front of Courtney sends a fine cross from the right wing after showing a burst of pace to get past the covering defender but Shariff's header from a central position goes high off target.
4: A foul on the far side by Hubbins allows the home side a free kick from the left hand corner of the box and Hedge is forced to grab the ball out of the air from the fiercely struck free kick from Enver-Marum.
5: Tamworth counter and dangerous right sided cross is put behind for a corner but it comes to nothing.
7: Pinney makes space on the right of the Lambs box to get a low ball into the danger area but every attempt by the home side to strike for goal fails and Tamworth clear with a collective ‘phew' from the small band of visiting Lambs.
9: Liam Daish is forced to make a very early change with Marwa unable to continue
11: Another zippy run by Pinney down the right sees him pull the ball back into the box once again, and this time West is able to trap the ball and spin and shoot low but thankfully for Hedge and his teammates he misses the far post by a matter of inches.
18: Ebbsfleet are enjoying more of the ball going forward but The Lambs were defending strongly and calmly and have not been threatened too much.
20: A long ball forward is flicked on by Willock and is dealt with effectively by Francis as West look to turn on the ball on the edge of the area.
23: An Ebbsfleet cross from the left is missed by everyone until Hedge is forced into a low save to his right as West hits a right footed shot low from the right of the box.
25: Hubbins shows more trickery to get a right footed cross in from the right wing forcing Edwards to come and punch the ball clear and in the next move Patterson closes down on the home keeper who just manages to clear his lines in time.
27: Enver-Marum tries his luck with a right footed shot but it takes a deflection and Hedge collects as Ebbsfleet force Tamworth to work hard to keep possession and make it very hard for them to get into the final third. They manage it with a long ball forward from Green, but Edwards is first to the ball with Patterson closing down.
34: Hedge is forced out to take the ball from off the forward run of Willock twice within a minute but there's no real threat of a goal other than that from goalkeeper error.
36: At the other end, Ebbsfleet defend strongly to prevent a Lambs chance coming to fruition.
38: Patterson makes a surging run into the box and pulls it back for Sharrif who sees his shot saved by the feet of Edwards, but the referee had already spotted a foul on Patterson and awards a penalty.
39: However, Edwards guesses correctly and the ball comes out and the chance is gone when play is stopped for handball against Isaac.
44: Willock pulls the ball across the face of goal but no one is able to get a touch and a corner is conceded past the far post and two minutes added time is shown.
45: Gudger tries his luck from 25 yards, but only manages to hit the top of the massive stand behind the goal and raise a cheer from the home fans.
Ebbsfleet get the second half underway and The Lambs are now attacking the open terrace populated by six of the Lambs fans who have travelled to the game, the rest of the two dozen or so are disappointed to see Hubbins drag the ball wide of the mark following a strong run at goal. His shot from 20 yards goes wide of the left hand post and fails to test Edwards.
50: Although not actually raining, there is a high level of moisture in the air making fast close control difficult so Pinney goes for a long range effort and hedge is relieved to see his shot from the right hand touch line fall on top of the goal net.
53: Patterson makes headway into the area but sees his shot come back off Edwards and Shariff is unable to get a shot away before Willock can steal in and force a corner.
54: Ebbsfleet break from the corner and West feeds Enver-Marum who sprints onto his through ball and makes no mistake with a low shot from the edge of the area under and past the despairing dive of Hedge. (0-1, 54 mins)
60: Tamworth were definitely not going down without a fight and pushed forwards constantly from the restart going close again from Hubbins right wing cross but once again Ebbsfleet broke and this time Pinney slid the ball home from the edge of the area to make it 2-0.
63: Hubbins limps off the field straight into the changing rooms followed by the physio and is replaced by Thomas.
65: Ebbsfleet win a corner on the right and Willock glances his header just wide of the far post.
69: Enver-Marum turns Green on the half way line and sprints through down the right only to find his way blocked by Francis. No card is shown despite the shouts for a sending off from the home fans and West fires the freekick from the right channel into the side netting.
72: Ten Lambs are required to sit behind the ball in the final third to halt the progress of the home side, but they still manage to get through down the left side of the box and Francis is lucky with his touch which deflects straight back to Hedge rather than past him.
78: After a brief respite in play where Willock receives treatment in the centre circle, he is deemed unable to continue and is replaced by Azeez.
80: The Lambs second debutant of the night takes his place on the field, replacing Patterson.
82: Green is booked for a foul on Enver-KMarum as the striker tries to go past him midway into the Lambs half and with only Francis left to beat.
83: Pinney takes the ball to the left of the box and pulls it back for Phipp, but his shot is poor and goes nowhere near the target.
84: The Lambs win a corner on the right but Stone heads it clear and the referee pulls play back for a push on the same player.
88: Pinney makes space for himself on the left and cuts back in before hitting a hopeful shot from the edge of the box, which bounces in front of Hedge and into the net unhindered. (0-3, 88 mins)
90: Three minutes added time are shown and McDonald tries a shot from distance, but it's straight at Edwards.
90: Enver-Marum makes headway down the left and into the box before squaring for Azeez who, with just Hedge to beat somehow rolls his shot past the left hand upright from 12 yards out and spares further Lambs blushes before the final whistle blows.
Hedge, Courtney, Francis, McDonald, Patterson (Headley 80), Green, Gudger, Osaac, Shariff, McKoy, Hubbins (Thomas 63)
Subs: Oji, Reynolds, Collister
Yellow Cards: Green 82
Ebbsfleet United Team:
Edwards, Stone, Lorraine, West (Adams 90), Marwa (Barrett 10), Willock (Azeez 78), Phipp, Howe, Enver-Marum, Pinney
Subs: McNeil, Stavrinou
Referee: Mr. D. Sheldrake