No goals but plenty of action
06 October 2007
Tamworth travelled to Bower Fold to face Steve Burr’s Stalybridge Celtic for the first time in TFC’s history (away from The Lamb) looking to continue their good run of form which had seen them concede just once in 6 hours of football.
Gary Mills made two changes to the side that beat Worcester City in the FA Cup last weekend. Dave Bampton (ill) and Chris Nurse (suspended), could not feature, so Gary Mills (the younger!) and Rikki Bains came into the starting eleven looking to stake a claim for a first team place. Defender Craig McAugtrie sat out still not quite fit following a back injury that kept him out of the FA Cup.
Lambs fans populated the ground in abundance for the game and The Lambs kicked towards the flags in the first half but Matty Barlow had a great chance to open the scoring after less than a minute only to be thwarted by Veiga, but Tamworth countered and Matt Williams shot into the arms Paddy Gamble from inside the area.
Anthony Robinson did well to get a shot away from the edge of the area on 4 and he tried his luck again less than 30 seconds later tried the same again but both times Gamble collected.
In an open start to the tie full of vigour, Gareth Davies saw a shot deflected into the arms of Veiga on 6 before Adie Smith tangled with a Celtic player in the home half and needed treatment but was OK to carry on.
Michael Briscoe sent a long ball through on 10 which Robinson took well and shot for goal from the edge of the area but struck ‘keeper Gamble. As the ball ballooned back to him he got a head on it but Gamble caught the goal bound effort under the bar.
A diving header from hot shot Chris Hall sneaked past the far upright on 13 before Tamworth won a corner which Sheldon drove into the area but was blocked and cleared by the home defence.
Tamworth continued to take the game to their hosts and on 15, Sheldon crossed from the left onto the head of Williams but the Lambs striker put his effort a few feet wide when perhaps he should have done better.
The referees assistant spotted a push on Williams away from the play on 23 winning Tamworth a free kick 30 yards out which Sheldon floated into the area and Robinson did everything right with his header except put it past Gamble, who dived to his left and saved at full stretch.
A surging run out of midfield by Adie Smith on 26 resulted in the first card of the game for Mark Haran who blocked his route and allowed Sheldon a free kick which Des Lyttle cut back into the area and Mills shot but the ball deflected over for a corner. Despite sending the flag kick long, Tamworth kept up the pressure but could not create a goalscoring chance.
Celtic then exerted some pressure of their own, seeing Williams double back to help out clear the danger at one point but the home side’s final ball or rare shot was lacking the required quality.
At the other end, a searching ball from Smith found Robinson on the left wing on 34. Robinson cut inside and sent the ball low to the far post but Williams missed the header by inches and Lyttle sent his shot on a tight angle past the far post over the bar.
Then, a push by Sheldon gave Stalybridge a freekick on the right wing on 37 which Simon Garner took left footed onto the head of defender James Dudgeon, but his effort was off target and didn’t threaten Veiga.
The home side went closest to opening the scoring when a long throw into the Lambs area got a flick on for Lee Ellington to head towards goal on 38 and although Veiga was beaten his effort skimmed the top of the bar.
Carlos Roca’s surging run and deflected shot on 41 won the Celtic a corner but nothing came of it as still neither side looked to be in control.
Dudgeon then picked up a yellow card for an elbow on Sheldon which left him needing attention on 43 and in added time Ashely Winn curled a shot inside the area past the far post.
A dangerous low cross from the right on 48 from Barlow had to be hooked away by Briscoe as it whipped in front of Veiga’s goal in the first action of the second period.
Sheldon fed Williams shortly after but he shot over the bar from the left of the area, and with the next move Williams close range shot was clawed out by Gamble’s right hand at the far post.
Roca put a low effort through the box on 55 but it was easy for Veiga to drop and collect and on 57 Mills thought he had won a penalty when he tried to get onto the end of the loose ball in the box but the referee was having none of it and gave the freekick the other way.
On 64 Chris Hall stole into the box and whipped a shot across the face of goal which on another day may well have snuck in at the far post but the home crowds cheers were short lived and Tamworth were given time to regroup from a rare slip at the back.
Then at the other end Williams, with his back to goal, pushed the ball out of the area and Smith curled a right footed shot inches wide of the post.
Although having a good game, the Lambs forwards were finding it hard to get past the last Celtic defender. Robinson was denied a freekick on 67 when it looked like he had been brought down en route to the area and then he showed skill to turn two defenders but Paul Sykes blocked his shot with both feet on the edge of the area.
Ashley Burbage skied a shot from 20 yards on 72 as Stalybridge put worked hard to get the ball forward and on 75 Winn found himself with the goal at his mercy after Veiga’s punch went down instead of out, but placed his cushioned volley over the bar from 12 yards.
Sheldon ran from midfield unchallenged to shoot from distance on 79 straight into the arms of Gamble then on 80 Gareth Davies struck the far upright with a powerful right footed drive for the home side.
With 5 remaining Gary Mills brought on Luke Edwards and Marcus Ebdon to try and get something from the game but it was Sheldon who struck from 30 yards straight at Gamble again before the home side won a corner only to waste the flag kick.
Three minutes added time was shown at the end of the second half and both sides had already had enough chances to win the game so, despite the inclusion of Micky Tuohy both sides had to settle for a point.
Veiga, Lyttle, Langdon, Briscoe, Bains, Smith (capt.), Mills (Ebdon 86), Leonard, Robinson, Williams (Edwards 86), Sheldon (Tuohy 90+)
Subs: Sheridan, Waldrum
Gamble, Dudgeon (Payne HT), Garner, Davies (Barwick 81), Haran, Sykes, Ellington, Winn, Hall, Barlow, Roca (Burbeary 60)
Subs: Keeling, Pearson
Yellow Cards: Haran 26, Dudgeon 43, Winn 59
Referee: Mr Wright (Southport)