Seventh heaven for Lambs
28 December 2014
After the defeat of Solihull on their own turf on Boxing to make it six league wins out of six, Andy Morrell’s side came back to The Lamb for the first of two fixtures either side of New Year.
Despite glorious winter sunshine streaming down onto area, a pitch inspection had been required at midday due to severe overnight frost but the game was called on by the referee and so fans made their way to the ground wrapped up warm hoping for seven out of seven against a Worcester side second in the ‘last six’ form table compared to Tamworth’s first position.
Morrell made two changes to the side that defeated Solihull, one forced as Smith’s loan from Shrewsbury had ended so with James returning from illness he took his place and Hibbert came in for Jackson up front to partner the gaffer.
The visitors had four former Lambs in their ranks – Jose Veiga in goal, Wayne Thomas in defence and Nick Wright and Connor Gudger on the bench.
City got the game underway attacking the Castle End in the first half and both sides started brightly on a pitch that would undoubtedly turn from green to white during the course of the ninety minutes. There was more positive play from The Lambs than the visitors in the opening minutes and the ball spent most of the time in the City half.
A foul set up Taylor with a dangerous freekick on the right on 7 but it was eventually headed away by Thomas.
On 13 Clarke took a knock to his head and so had to be treated off the field.
Taylor whipped in another of his telling crosses on 16 but it was headed away by City then Morrell found Vidal in the box but his final touch saw the ball go off his toes and the chance was cleared by a hefty boot.
Visiting captain Deeney sent a left footed cross into the area from the tunnel area of the field on 20 but it was far too high for Rowe to get his head onto.
At the other end, Morrell struck for goal and it took a deflection off Hibbert which caused Veiga to check his position as the ball bounced a few feet wide.
Thomas got his head onto a deep ball from the Worcester midfield on 26 but put his effort well wide of the mark and on 29 Belshaw had his first real shot to save when Symons turned on the ball and fired low at the keeper’s near post but it was easy for him to collect.
Morrell and Taylor switched sides around the 33 minute mark and with Worcester enjoying more of the ball and spending more time in the Tamworth half, it took a foul to allow Belshaw to put the ball deep into the Meadow Street end, but it was quickly back with City. Taylors ball to Hibbert gave the striker a sight on goal but he was quickly closed down and the chance lost.
Worcester continued to keep pressure on Tamworth and kept them pegged back for the majority of the rest of the half without forcing too much of a problem for Belshaw.
And after one minute added time was played the whistle blew on a goalless first half.
Tamworth restarted proceedings and half time sub Daniels first touch saw his shot got high over the Castle End terracing and out into the scrubland behind.
His second from further out was much better though and stung Veiga’s hands while Taylor’s cross on 50 was just inches away from being met by Hibbert.
Daniels continued to get involved and swung a corner from the right on 51 into the box but Thomas was equal to it. After a brief break following a clash of heads, Tamworth regained possession from the drop ball and forced a corner which Daniels put into the box for Hibbert but his shot was blocked and City broke quickly.
Sampson ensured the initial burst was halted but the team in green kept possession and Geddes struck from distance straight into the gratefully receiving arms of Belshaw.
When the ball ricocheted kindly off Hibbert it was a case of three against two from the half way line on the hour, but Worcester quickly got back and Rowe took a yellow card to deny the run of Daniels.
Daniels stepped up to take the freekick, but it was high over the bar and a deep freekick from the left came off Preston and trickled back to Veiga on 63.
James was booked for a foul on Nti on 65 which didn;t impress the Shed behind them, and the freekick was taken quickly to Gater but his shot span wide of the mark.
A couple of quick fouls on Daniels by the clubhouse corner of the pitch kept the ball in the Lambs possession and a defensive header handed them a corner.
Thomas then picked up a booking for a blocking challenge on Green on the right and Daniels fired the freekick hard and low into the centre of the box for Green to finish from a yard or so out (1-0, 71 mins)
After a burst of pace Daniels forced a corner with a whipped in cross come shot on 80 Veiga was happy to take the ball once it came in.
Thomas saw a dangerous header diverted over the bar for a corner on 85 and tried a long range effort that failed to trouble Belshaw on 88.
Clarke picked up a yellow card for a foul in front of the shed on 90 and Daniels needed treatment for cramp before the kick and had to be replaced by Trainer.
Taylor took a knock deep into added time too and brought Thornton into the action and a deep freekick from the visitors whizzed past the far post and a couple more bookings were handed out to Belshaw and Adams before the final whistle blew 97 minutes af ter the game had started.
Belshaw, Vidal, Sampson, James, Preston, Adams, Green, Clarke, Hibbert, Morrell (Daniels HT, Trainer 90), Taylor (Thornton 90)
Subs: Wilkins, Jackson
Yellow Cards: James 65, Clarke 90, Adams 90, Belshaw 90
Red Cards: none
Worcester City Team:
Veiga, Hutchinson, Weir, Rowe, Thomas, Gater (Waldron 84), Nti, Deeney, Symons (Wright 78), Geddes, Murphy (Dunkley 74)
Subs: Gudger, Taylor
Yellow Cards: Rowe 61, Thomas 70, Geddes 73
Red Cards: none
Man of the Match: Josh Samplson
Referee: Mr. R. Massey-Ellis