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Poor display brings Lambs nothing from Moss Lane

FT: Altrincham 2    0 Tamworth

23 September 2006

Tamworth traveled to Altrincham on the back of a good draw at Morecambe in midweek and Lambs boss Mark Cooper was looking for more of the same from his side to keep the good run of results going. Gavin McAllum was back in after his one match suspension and Paul Devlin started his first game of the season, while John McGrath took a place on the bench, again after a bruise on his foot had kept him out of recent games while new signing, goalkeeper, Dave Clarke sat alongside him after coming in from Nuneaton Borough.

Altrincham started the better of the two sides and took the lead on 5 minutes through Rob Thornley who got his right boot to a loose ball in the box and flicked it in past Sean Bowles from 6 yards out. (0-1)
The home side continued to press and looked the more settled in the opening 15 minutes with the ball rarely venturing past the half way line. It was only thanks to the inaccurate final balls from Alty that they didn’t create any clear cut chances after their opening strike.
After a period of no effective action on the pitch as
Tamworth tried to get back into the game but were constantly frustrated by a determined home side, Bradley Thomas almost committed the gravest of errors. The ball was going nowhere in the middle of the park and Thomas tried to back header it towards Bowles, but it went up into the air and Stephen Rose burst onto it only to be brought down by the arms of Thomas who escaped with a yellow card and the freekick from 25 yards out was wasted.
Cooper changed formation to 3-5-2 at this point with McAllum moving into midfield but Lewis Chalmers managed to get a good cross into the box on the half hour mark which was ultimately dealt with effectively by The Lambs defence.
Devlin put the first shot on target for Tamworth on 33 minutes but almost immediately after Joe O’Neill capitalised on some poor defending to steal in and stab the ball home from close range after Bowles had initially dropped a long ball into his area.
Lawton almost bagged a third for Altrincham on 39 minutes, but screwed his shot over under pressure from Adie Smith after, once again, the Tamworth defence had failed to deal with a ball forward.
HT: 0-2
Cooper had no choice but to mix things up at half time, bringing on two attacking players in Steve Burton and Matthew Williams for Jon Stevenson and Gavin McAllum and changing the formation to
3-4-3.
Both of the substitutes went close early in the second period although
Burton had strayed just offside when his chance came.
Alty substitute Kieran Lugsden hit Tom Kemp with a driven effort at goal on 67 in a strike that would have buried The Lambs chances of getting anything out of the game.
The best chance of the second half to date fell to Taiwo Atieno on 77 minutes who, with the goal at his mercy, shot high over the bar from the left of the box in a move that summed up the Lambs game so far.
And Atieno did almost the same on 80 minutes when the ball fell invitingly to him 6 yards out but he was leaning back and put the ball over the bar once again.

Tamworth:

Devlin, Atieno
McAllum (Burton HT), Storer, Smith, Stevenson (Willilams HT)
Thomas, Kemp, Weaver, Kendrick (McGrath 63)
Bowles

Subs: Friars, Clarke

Altrincham:

Thornley (Lugsden 60), O’Neill
Owen, Chalmers (Hussin 87), Lawton, Potts (Scott 75)
Peyton, Rose, Munroe, Aspinall
Acton

Subs: Hendley, Bowler

Goals: Thornley 5, O’Neill 33

Yellow Cards:
Thomas 23, Lawton 27, Aspinall 84, Storer 88
Red Cards:
Att: 882

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