For the visit of Nuneaton Town to The Lamb, Marcus Law was forced to field a side without Adam Cunnington, Tommy Wright and Marcus Kerry - all suspended and so there were a few heads being scratched prior to kick off as to the likely formation of the side that would be going out to try and avenge the Boxing Day defeat.
Tamworth got the game underway kicking towards the Castle End but Breeden got an early touch as did McNamara as The Lambs lined up with Till, Roberts-Nurse and Gudger in a wide three up front formation. McNamara raced out to deny the run of Roberts-Nurse on 4 and at the other end on 6 Courtney was forced to head behind an concede a left sided corner which Cowan headed into the danger area for Dean but his header went over the target. Regan was penalised for a shoulder to shoulder challenge on the right wing on 11 and James stepped up to fire the freekick into the box, left footed. Dean headed it across the box but The Lambs defence got in the way and Breeden eventually collected Adams' cross from the left. Roberts-Nurse caught James on the left wing to concede a freekick in line with the box on 18 and Cartwright fired it into the box for Forsdick to head home from 6 yards out (0-1, 19 mins) The Lambs tried to respond immediately and Kelly forged a way through but was unable to get a clean shot away before the ball was cleared. A high boot by Courtney attempting to clear a bouncing ball on the edge of the area gave the visitors another freekick in a dangerous position in the right channel approx. 20 yards out. James struck it well and past the wall, but Breeden was not going to be beaten at his near post and dive-punched it clear of danger. Oji made a rare foray forwards on 32 and tried a 1-2 with Till but the return ball was just too strong and McNamara collected before the Lambs defender could get past the covering defenders. 35 gone and The Lambs got a sniff of a chance when Roberts-Nurse, Gudger and Till combined but a foot the wrong side of the last man stopped play down the right courtesy of an offside flag. On 40, Courtney tried a shot from the left channel about 35 yards out but it curled harmlessly away from the far post and out for a goal kick. Tamworth win a corner on the left when the Nuneaton defence glance a header behind by the clubhouse but a foul by Courtney in the area halts play immediately the kick is taken. On 44 Tait made headway to the edge of the area but saw his shot blocked, however, Barrow was on hand on the left of the box to lift his shot over McNamara and in at the far post (1-1, 44 mins) Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the first half and Courtney saw a header go wide of the left hand post with McMamara unphased by the effort but Till almost puts the Lamb in front skipping past the keeper diagonally right across the box and putting his shot into the side netting.
HT: Tamworth 11 Nuneaton Town
Unbeknownst to the majority of the 400 off Nuneaton fans the visitors kicked off the second half with 10 men after Cowan was shown a straight red card by the referee in the players tunnel after apparently lashing out at Tait and Law made a change, bringing Healy on for Roberts-Nurse. A Lambs corner went short to Hendrie on 52 and his cross box ball to Tait was struck goalward by the Lambs captain, but it bent away from the target and struck the hoardings behind the goal. Nuneaton won a corner on 58 when Oji put the ball behind after Barrow slipped on the left and allowed the visitors to put a dangerous cross in, forcing the Lambs defender to put the ball behind, but the resultant flag kick was wasted. Oji was penalised for climbing over Brown on the halfway line on the hour but Town wasted the deadball again and Tamworth, through Breeden and Barrow, pushed forwards but to no avail. Barrow and Kelly combine down the left but the former's challenge on Cartwright leaves the Nuneaton man on the floor and the whistle stops play, which restarts a good 10 yards in field of the offence to the bemusement of the home faithful. Hendrie picked up a booking on 69 following a tussle with Dean and Nuneaton made a change only for the sub Newton to pick up a booking with his first ‘touch' which was a late challenge on Barrow. The visitors bench was then spoken to by referee Mr Handley as The Lambs attacked through Gudger down the left but his ball was long and Tait picked it up but floated his effort high and wide of the left hand post. McNamara gathered the ball under pressure from Oji and Till after Tait chipped in from the right who then headed home Barrow's left wing cross with pin point precision from the right of the box over the top of McNamara's outstretch reach. (2-1, 76 mins) Turner comes on for his debut with 10 to go as Nuneaton substitute Armson curls a freekick over the wall but straight into the arms of Breeden. Healy's ball from the left was headed behind for a corner on the left on 86 and Till put it left footed into the box but Courtney was beaten to it and Tamworth were forced to build again until a foul on Courtney set up Barrow with a deadball which he struck hard and straight but his shot rose over the bar and didn't trouble McNamara. Four minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and there was little to report other than a big celebration at the final whistle from the home terraces.
Tony BREEDEN (GK), Richard TAIT (c), Marcus KELLY (Elliott TURNER 79), Matthew REGAN, Lee HENDRIE, Duane COURTNEY, Connor ROBERTS-NURSE (Jake HEALY HT), Connor GUDGER (Tom MARSHALL 73), Peter TILL, Scott BARROW, Sam OJI Subs: James WREN (GK), Scott JAMES
Nuneaton Town Team:
Ben McNAMARA (GK), Neil CARTWRIGHT, Thomas JAMES, Gavin COWAN, Gareth DEAN (c), Jon ADAMS (James ARMSON 80), Simon FORSDICK, Adam WALKER, Andrew BROWN, Wesley YORK (Daniel NEWTON 69), Connor TAYLOR (Delroy GORDON 49) Subs: Daniel SLEATH, Stephen O'HALLORAN