One a piece for Lambs v ten men Darlo
22 January 2011
After Tuesday's draw with Altrincham which extended the Lambs record to 6 unbeaten at home in the league, Des Lyttle made two changes to the starting eleven.
Kyle Perry came in for Adi Yussuf while Jason Bradley made his full debut with Jake Sheridan taking a place on the bench.
It was Darlington's first ever visit to The Lamb, but on the opposition bench, management duo Mark Cooper and Richard Dryden needed no introductions although home fans were hoping that their side's victories over Tamworth in the league and FA Trophy at the Northern Echo Arena this season would not be repeated in The Midlands.
A fair amount of pitch defrosting on Saturday morning, had taken place prior to kick off to ensure the game went ahead and Tamworth kicked off towards the Castle End.
After a scrappy opening, Rodman found some purchase on the Shed side of the pitch on 4 but his mazy run through a number of Darlo players was unfortunately let down by a final ball into the box which was cleared away.
A very high ball from Thomas on the left was headed goalward by Perry on 7 with keeper Russell also in attendance, but when the ball bounced towards the net it was covered by the Darlo defenders and cleared.
The Lambs were holding the upper hand as the clock ticked towards ten minutes, and had Thomas been able to get more lift on his cross it could have caused problems in the box, but he didn't and it was headed away.
A foul by Smith on Thomas set up MacKenzie by the players tunnel and his freekick flashed into the area but it was booted away and Daniel Bradley handled over the half way line before Tamworth regained possession from the Quakers freekick.
A long ball into the area was punched away by Russell and Rodman, on the edge of the area, tried to lob it back into the goal but cleared the bar on 16.
Thomas had seemed to be pulled down in the area when trying to make a turn on the left but no foul was given and then, as Tamworth pushed on 21, when Wylde's long throw came in Smith slid through Jason Bradley in the area for a penalty but Rodman saw his attempt saved by Russell low to his left.
Tait's cross from the right on 24 was headed well by Daniel Bradley but it was easy enough for Russell to take and for all their possession and chances, The Lambs were forced to defend for a time as Darlo pushed on.
Smith was booked for a foul on Perry in the centre circle on 26 and Atkins came out on 28 to smother the loose ball at the feet of Verma.
Then on 29 Rodman found space to drill a low ball into the area from the right and when the ball came back Perry couldn't get a head to it, and neither could Jason Bradley, but Mackenzie mopped it up and hit a shot over the bar from 18 yards.
Bridge-Wilkinson found space on the left of the box on 36 and beat Atkins with a right footed shot from a tight angle, but also struck the bar with his effort and it was eventually gathered at height by the keeper from the resultant play.
Thomas made a good run into the final third on 40 but was unable to progress further and his pass was cut out as defenders crowded around him.
One minute added time was shown as the first half ended goalless.
Darlington made one change before starting the second period with The Lambs now attacking the away end which contained just over 200 travelling fans.
A foul on Thomas set up MacKenzie with a freekick which was half cleared and Tamworth kept up the pressure ending with a long ball from Perry to Rodman on the opposite side of the field on 52. He cut inside and fired for goal but his shot rose over the bar.
Bridge-Wilkinson slid a shot at Atkins on 54 from 18 yards which the keeper held easily after the Lambs back four were unable to get a clean clearance.
On 59 Perry almost stole in to rob the ball as Quinn's back header looked to be going short, but Russell was quickest to it and cleared his lines.
A foul outside the Lambs box on 62 set up a Darlo freekick but play was halted when all eyes turned to Marshall who lay prostrate on the ground. The referee consulted his linesman and Quinn was called over with the Lambs captain before both players shook hands and play resumed with Bridge-Wilkinson's freekick which flew into the area and Hatch glanced his header home from close range (0-1, 64 mins)
Another foul on Marshall on 65 saw Wright shown a straight red card for an elbow on the Lambs defender - the fourth red card for the opposition in three games.
Cooper made another change shortly after, taking the one player already on a booking off the field but on 71 Arnison saw his name taken by the ref following a challenge on Thomas.
Barrow cut in from the left wing and had to hit his shot right footed, clearing the target with his shot from 20 yards.
Lyttle made two changes with 15 to go in a bid to get something from the game moving to a 3-4-3 formation.
For all their huff and puff in getting up the field, Darlington were working tremendously hard to prevent The Lambs getting too close to the goal and chances were very hard to come by as the game entered the last ten minutes.
Hatch was booked with three to go and Tait launched the ball forwards but Darlo headed it away forcing the Tamworth to try and build again.
The ball went high and Marshall hit an air shot as the visitors booted it clear once again and when Russell's punch out was not done effectively, Daniel Bradley sliced a shot from outside the area high and wide of the mark.
Bridge-Wilkinson then picked up a booking for holding Rodman but Darlo cleared as the ball headed towards Perry.
Four minutes added time was shown and Wylde got on the end of a ball with an outstretched boot after Yussuf put the ball into the crowded area to level the tie (1-1, 90 mins)
Perry picked up a late booking for a challenge in the centre of the park and time ran out as both sides shared the honours.
Atkins, Tait, Marshall, Wylde, MacKenzie (Sheridan 76), Perry, Rodman, Thomas (Yussuf 75), Bradley J, Bradley D, Barrow (Kamara 85)
Subs: Mitchell, Lake-Gaskin
Yellow Cards: Perry 90+
Darlington 1833 Team:
Russell, Arnison (Main 90+), Chandler, Miller, Hatch, Smith (Taylor 69), Brown, Quinn, Verma, Modest (Wright HT), Bridge-Wilkinson
Subs: Moore, Gray
Yellow Cards: Smith 26, Arnison 71, Hatch 87, Bridge-Wilkinson 90
Red Cards: Wright 65
Man of the Match: Chosen by Madewell products: Marshall
Referee: D.S. Bond (Burscough)