For the trip to Bower Fold, Andy Morrell introduced new signing Ellis Deeney into the starting eleven with Dan Newton also coming back to the forward line after his last minute equaliser against FC United in the last match, a fortnight ago. Both Stalybridge and The Lambs had only won one game each since the start of December and although Tamworth’s 7th position in the league was seven better than their hosts, only six points separated them going into the game.
The Lambs got the game underway and inside the third minute Taylor forced a corner after good interplay. Durrell struck the left sided flagkick and despite a number of shots reigning in the home goal escaped an early intrusion. From a Stalybridge corner on 6 Deeney’s ball out of defence / midfield was well taken by Newton on the halfway line and then fell for Durrell but his shot from the left rose over the target. Newton tried a low shot from 25 yards on 11 but it was easy enough for McMillan to take low and from the kick out of his hands, Preston fouled Simm to set up Celtic with a freekick in the right channel 30 yards from Belshaw’s goal. Chippendale’s shot was easy enough for the keeper though. Durrell gave The Lambs the lead on 18 with a well timed volley from a central position from Strong’s left wing cross (1-0, 18) and when Durrell’s corner came back out to him on 22 he drilled it back in and Newton span on the ball to fire home and double the lead. (2-0, 22) It was three on 24 and it was Newton again, rifling home from close range when the keeper and covering defender were unable to clear the danger and ended up on the floor with the ball waiting to be struck. (3-0, 24) Davies came onto the field for an obviously struggling Green on 33 and he nearly notched a goal on 36 directing his header toward goal from Newton’s right wing cross but it was never going to hit the target. Simm went close to getting one back on 41, just missing the connection to Chippendale’s left wing ball but in the next move Tamworth pushed forwards and Newton took great delight in firing home diagonally into the bottom right of the goal from the left of the area to make it 4-0 on 42. Two minutes added time ended with no further incident.
HT: Stalybridge Celtic 04 Tamworth
Celtic restarted the game and immediately got themselves back into things via a freekick from the left that Higgins glanced with a deft flick of his head into the goal to reduce the arrears. (1-4, 46) Newton hit his fourth on 51 to regain the advantage, sprinting onto a through ball from Davies before heading straight for goal and rounding the keeper before slotting home. (1-5, 51) From a left sided corner, Belshaw pushed a Higgins header over the bar on 53 but from the resultant corner Simm headed home to reduce the arrears once again. (2-5, 52). Celtic then made three changes to try and add fresh legs to their momentum and on 62 Tames raced onto a low through ball down the right before nudging it past Belshaw and slotting home (3-5, 62). Celtic forced another corner on 64 which Tomassen headed away strongly and Tames forced another on 65 but play was halted for an infringement. A good cross from Deeney on the left wing on 73 forced McMillan into a save while at the other end Mudimu fired on the turn but it was easy for Belshaw at his near post. A cross from Dixon was nearly turned home by Tames on 83 but his flick span the ball past the far post by an inch or two. Newton needed treatment with a few minutes to go and brought a temporary halt to proceedings and afoul by Tames earned him a booking shortly after. Four minutes added time allowed the home side some time to try and lay a last ditch siege but there was no way through and the travelling Lambs celebrated at the whistle.