New Year cheer for Lyttles Lambs
01 January 2011
Well it's been a while, but happy New Year to everyone from the A-Line Arena and after just one match in over a month, Des Lyttle finally gets to take charge of a league game in his official capacity as the new manager of The Lambs.
Kyle Perry sits out the first of a three match ban following his sending off mid December at Darlington and there is a new name in the squad - Adi Yussuf a striker coming in on a one month loan deal from Leicester City. Michael Wylde failed a late fitness test so takes no part as Tamworth look to start and move away from the lower end of the table, and a 3-0 victory would see them leapfrog their hosts who sit on 25 points who are hopeful Iyseden Christie will do the business for the Poppies once again, on his return to the side although he starts on the bench.
After the first pre-match huddle of 2011 The Poppies kicked off with Tamworth attacking the empty away end (all Lambs fans are in the seats).
After a disjointed start Furlong and Smith tussled and when foul was given The Lambs way, the Kettering player booted the ball away in anger it struck the referee, quite accidentally and the Poppies man picked up a booking for his troubles.
And the first shot of the New Year came from Barrow on 7 but his aim was off after a cross from Thomas came back out from a defensive header.
Thomas was involved again on 9 but the half chance was cleared by the home defence and Tamworth enjoyed the majority of the play for the next few minutes.
Marshall had to be on his mettle to get in front of a low whipped cross on 14 and The Lambs switched play to the other end quickly, but Sheridan's cross was not anticipated by anyone.
A corner was won shortly after on the left and Thomas forced Westwood to head over his own bar from the short ball and cross, giving Smith another go from the same side. His kick was only half cleared and headed away for another flag kick on the right which was headed away and Wilkinson sent his rising shot from 35 yards out of the ground.
Bradley forced Jack to carry the ball out of play with a deep cross past the far post from the left on 20 and Smith found Marhsall's head but there was no power on the effort and Jack collected.
The Poppies won a corner of their own on 23 which came out to Kelly and his cross was met by the head of Westwood glanced it over the far corner of bar and post.
A Lambs counter attack won them a corner a minute later but it was wasted.
Then on the half hour, after Dance had tried to hit a shot from 25 yards at one end, Rodman made headway and hit a very hopeful effort from a similar distance but it took a kind deflection and fell for Bradley to go one on one with Jack and with the whole goal to aim at the keeper positioned himself superbly and blocked what looked like a certain goal.
Dance found his way into the box from the right and his powerful shot was deflected out for a corner which caused a bit of panic in the six yard box, but Makofo was unable to capitalise .
A third hefty challenge of the game by Smith, this time on Furlong, was not punished by the referee and incensed the home faithful especially when a first, similar challenge by Noubisse minutes later saw the Kettering player booked.
An ankle injury to Barrow forced Lyttle to bring Yussuf into the fray shortly before the fourth official showed his added time board with three minutes on it and there was little further incident.
Tamworth kicked off the second half and Yussuf put in a good cross from the right in the first move after the restart but it was headed away and a minute later Thomas forced a save from Jack from the left of goal but the offside flag had already been raised.
A first shot on target by the home side came on 50 by Kelly and earned a ripple of sarcastic applause and cheers from the home faithful. And on 51 Kelly hit a low shot across the face of goal from the left of the box which Atkins watched out past his far post.
A freekick on the right of midfield by Thomas was floated into the box and headed past his own keeper by Furlong, under pressure from Marshall allowing the 146 travelling Lambs to celebrate the 150th own goal scored for Tamworth since the club's inception in 1933. (1-0, 56 mins)
Dance hit a shot with the outside of his boot which span high and wide of the right hand post from 18 yards on 63 and a foul by Smith on Makofo set up Dance with a dead ball chance on 64 from fully 35 yards which wasn't too far away but didn't cause Atkins any trouble.
Yussuf showed signs of quick pace as he burst into the box and unleashed a left footed drive at Jack to win a corner on 66 but the keeper was equal to the flag kick.
A left sided freekick found the head of Graham on 73 but his effort lacked power and direction giving Atkins an easy save.
Kettering perhaps should have equalised on 76 when McKoy found Furlong 8 yards out but Atkins pulled off a superb save to push his goal bound effort around the post.
Things livened up after then with Kettering pushing forward and forcing Tamworth to defend.
On 79 Dance was booked for a challenge with left Tait prostrate on the floor and while the Lambs defender was getting treatment, Christie came on for the Poppies.
A deep freekick fro the centre circle flicked off Marshall's head inside his own area on 83 and debutant Towers almost got on the scoresheet, sliding in at the far post but turning the ball into the side netting.
Another Furlong chance came on 86 when he turned his shot towards goal from inside the box but failed to trouble Atkins and Yussuf found his way blocked after getting into a good position a minute later.
Three minutes added time was shown at the end of the game, and Tamworth ran the time down to celebrate the win.
Atkins, Tait, Marshall, Mitchell, Smith, Rodman, Thomas, Sheridan (MacKenzie 87), Bradley, Barrow (Yussuf 45), Wilkinson
Subs: Lake-Gaskin, Connor, Bojang
Kettering Town Team:
Jack, Graham, Westwood, Furlong, Kelly, Dance (Towers 80), Green (Christie 80), Makofo (Marna 69), Solkhon, McKoy, Noubisse
Subs: Roper, McDonald
Yellow Cards: Furlong 5, Westwood 30, Noubisse 37, Dance 79
Man of the Match: Chosen by the travelling faithful: Ross Atikins
Referee: Mr. N. Kinseley (Essex)