No-one to blame but themselves for defeat at FGR
20 January 2007
Tamworth made their first ever visit to Forest Green Rovers' new ground ‘The New Lawn’ with a ‘must win’ scenario. Mark Cooper’s squad found themselves at the bottom, 2 points off the Southport and 5 points behind FGR.
New signing Rikki Bains made his debut in defence while Jake Edwards and Jamie Price both made their first starts in the league this season having recently put pen to paper.
FGR held a bucket collection prior to the game to supplement their playing budget after welcoming former Hereford dangerman Danny Carey Bertram to The New Lawn earlier in the week but he started on the bench despite scoring on his debut in midweek. FGR ground staff and supporters had removed around 50 gallons of surface water prior to the game and the new pitch looked the part except for a small section in front of the main stand which was holding the recent downpour of rainfall for all its worth.
On 7 FGR almost took the lead but it took a flying save to his right from Jose Veiga to deny a well placed header form Mark Beesley after good work down the right wing from Les Afful.
The Lambs won their first corner on 8 but there was no-one available to have a shot at Rovers' debutant keeper Ryan Robinson when the ball ran free and the chance was cleared.
Jon Stevenson whistled a right footed strike inches wide of Robinson’s upright on 20 and a corner for the home side was headed just wide by Beesley on 24 as the wind helped mix things up for both sides.
Beesley made Veiga stretch to deny a driven effort on 32 and concede a corner but the Lambs' keeper punched the flag kick clear to allow his side a brief respite.
Pitman struck from distance way over Veiga’s bar on 35 as the home side continued to camp out in the Lambs half
Two Rovers' corners towards the end of the first half produced little to write home about but they kept Tamworth penned in despite lacking a bit of quality in the final third of the field.
With the wind behind his side, Stevenson snuck in behind the Rovers' defence on 48 but Robinson recovered in time to deny and a corner resulted but the home side cleared.
Simon Clist struck low and hard at Veiga on 52 from outside the area and the Lambs' keeper parried but did not collect his effort and his defence clawed the ball away.
Clist shot again on 54 and Beesley followed in but his ‘goal’ from Veiga’s block was ruled out for offiside.
Then, on 62, disaster struck as a corner by Rovers’ Williams was headed goalward by Chris Giles and John McGrath prevented the certain goal with a blatant handball. McGrath was rightly sent off for his troubles and Kevin Nicholson slammed home the penalty off the post (0-1)
Afful made space but fired over from 8 yards on 66 before a deserved second goal came on 68. Danny Williams side-footed Alex Meechan’s cross-box ball past Veiga after great build up play using both wings to give his side an almost unassailable lead against 10 men Tamworth.(0-2)
Jake Edwards hit the bar with a cross come shot from the right on 73 in a rare move forward and Beesley did the same at the other end on 75 with a right footed effort.
Cooper brought himself into the game in a last ditch effort to get something back but the damage had already been done.
Price (Atieno 58), McGrath, Storer (Cooper 84), Heslop
Weaver, Kemp, Bains, Smith
Subs: Williams, Laight, Belford
Forest Green Rovers:
Meechan (Carey-Bertram 72), Brough (Pitman 12 Lawless 76), Clist, Williams D
Nicholson, Giles, Jones, Hardiker
Subs: Williams S, Wanless
Yellow Cards: Storer 56
Red Cards: McGrath 61