Sheldon strike sends Lambs North.
18 December 2007
After postponement on Saturday due to a frozen pitch, the ‘rematch’ between Hucknall and Tamworth – this time in the FA Trophy – took place as planned on a cold Tuesday evening.
Gary Mills made three changes to the side that had defeated Alfreton 2-1 away from home a week ago – Dave Bampton, Kirk Jackson and Dominic Langdon made way for Jon Richter, Chris Nurse and Nick Wright while Hucknall’s side had not played since defeating The Lambs 3-1 in the league 10 days ago, featured first choice ‘keeper Aaron Reid back in the side.
An early chance fell for Matt Williams who, on 3, received the ball at his feet on the edge of the area following a good run by Jonti Richter. However, Williams could only place the ball straight into the hands of Reid.
Danny Bacon struck for goal on 4 after receiving a ball over the top of the Lambs defence, but Phillip Palethorpe was more than equal to the effort which ended with handball by the home striker after falling onto the rebound.
Anthony Howell was lucky to escape a yellow card on 6 after a poor challenge on Wright left the Lambs striker needing treatment on his ankle which thankfully he quickly ran off.
The first Lambs corner of the game came on 10 and although Tamworth were forced back into their own half, Law’s ball forward to Williams was deflected out for another corner. Marcus Ebdon headed the ball back into the danger area, but the home defence were a little quicker to Wright’s flick on and cleared the threat.
Gareth Sheldon slid in at the far post and was just a foot or so away from connecting with a low ball from Wright on 13 as Tamworth kept up the pressure which ended with a rifled shot from Sheldon from the left of the area into the far corner. (1-0)
Richter fired just wide of the right hand post on 19 from the edge of the area and Wright directed a header inches wide of the same upright on 20 from a good chipped cross from Nurse.
Bacon turned on the ball on the edge of the area on 25 and fired wide while Howell forced a save from Palethorpe when The Lambs failed to clear the danger effectively the first time, but did the second allowing Wright to burst down the right wing only to be foiled by the home defence.
Hucknall then enjoyed a spell of possession and forced Tamworth to clear the danger with long balls forward on a few occasions, before taking control once again and putting together some fine passing to get themselves out of danger in midfield.
Large areas of sand on top of the playing surface didn’t help matters at times causing both Richter and Hucknalls Chris Timons to miskick freekicks, and although Cullingworth’s deadball was put in the back of the net on 40, it was ruled out for a push on Palethorpe in the build up.
Ian Robinson turned on a Cullingworth freekick and forced Palethorpe into a low save which Lyttle put behind for a corner on 42 and the home side won another flag kick on the stroke of half time but both times Tamworth cleared after initial pressure.
An early chance for the home side when begging when Matthew Thorpe shot well wide of the mark from the right of the area on 48 and Bobby Wilson tried an audacious high shot from 30 yards 30 seconds later which was easy for Palethorpe.
Richter whipped the ball across the face of goal on 55 but it was too pacey to be met by anyone.
Howell split the Lambs defence on the hour mark but was tackled by Rikki Bains as he shaped to shoot before Richter was felled by Cullingworth in midfield and required attention from physio Chris Leary – Cullingworth picked up a deserved booking for his efforts.
But after calling for a harder decision against Cullingworth, Lambs fans were relieved that Mr Bennett was lenient against Nurse on 66 after a challenge on Robinson ended with a stiff talking to.
Hucknall substitute Ben Kistell missed a glorious chance to level the tie on 71 – shooting wide at the far post after Howells fed Bacon who played the ball from one side of the box to the other only for Kistell to miss the target by a mile.
The game was becoming a disjointed affair by virtue of the referee’s whistle but after a short period of play down the left on 73 Kistell totally missed the target again with a right footed half volley over the stand.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes there was little to choose between the two sides although the Lambs held the upperhand and were playing well enough to deny the home side any real chances.
On 86 though, the ball found its way to safety past the post after Howell missed his shot from a low right wing cross, Bains halted a run from Bacon on 89 and Howell shot wide on 90 as the home side pushed forward and three minutes extra time was shown.
A corner came on 92 and Reid came into Palethorpe’s area but the Tamworth ‘keeper collected the loose ball as the home custodian jumped for the header.
A freekick from Russell Cooke which cleared the crossbar by a couple of feet from distance in proved to be the last action of the game and set Tamworth up with a long trip North on January 16.
Palethorpe, Lyttle, Law, Briscoe, Bains, Ebdon, Richter, Nurse, Wright (Robinson A. 63), Williams, Sheldon
Subs: Sheridan, Seal, Boothe, Chambers
Reid, Cooke, Cullingworth, Timons, Sucharewycz, Wilson, Thorpe (Kistell 68), Robinson I, Bacon, Howell, Graves
Subs: Saunders, Akers, Ward, Smith (GK)
Yellow Cards: Greaves 40, Nurse 44, Williams 52, Cullingworth 60, Timons 68, Sheldon 90+
Referee: Mr S.P. Bennett (Stoke on Trent)