Stalemate at The Lamb
25 March 2006
Tamworth welcomed Dave Bampton and Adie Smith back to the side from suspension and Matt Redmile also recovered from injury to take his place in the starting line up. The task in hand – a vital league victory against Southport who leapfrogged the Lambs in midweek to see Mark Cooper’s men slip to bottom. Dave Bampton though suffered an injury in the pre-match warm up which meant that Peter Folkes had to come straight in after not even featuring in the squad.
At a cold and wet Lamb both sides came out of the blocks quickly, and first chance came through Liam Blakeman on 5 who tried a curling shot at Bowles that he had to tip over and shortly after Kyle Storer tried a similar shot from 25 yards out but it cleared Steve Dickinson’s bar.
Neither side, despite moving the ball round quickly, could find a way through in the opening 20 minutes and Scott Stamps’ cross come shot from the left was the closest chance and even then the ball flew over which was quickly followed by a long range effort from Folkes that powered well wide.
The half continued in much the same vein. Tamworth struggled to control the ball when going forward, while Southport shaded it on possession.
However, The Lambs won their first corner just past the half hour mark and promptly totally wasted the chance on the slippy surface as the ball rattled around in midfield, Carl Heggs floated a good ball into the far post for Craig Reid who connected with a header under pressure and forced Dickinson to gather low, although wide of the upright.
A second corner for Cooper’s men came on 37 after good work by Heggs but Redmile couldn’t direct his header goalward.
Bowles pulled off a great save from Steve Daly on 41 after Dominic Morley’s cross from the right skipped Redmiles head and at the far post Daly’s outstretched boot connected, but Bowles denied with a low body block.
Reid raced through onto a long ball through and despite strong shouts from the fans for handball by the Southport defender Dickinson collected.
Morley fired a low effort in at Bowles in added time at the end of the first half and the Lambs ‘keeper had to collect at the second attempt.
Cooper made two changes at half time – Jackson and Reid were replaced by Bob Taylor and Danny Davidson in a straight swap of the forward line.
Bowles foiled Daly again shortly after the restart. The ball squirmed through the Lambs defence and Daly got a boot onto the ball but Bowles was on hand to bat the ball away.
Tamworth won a free kick on 53 from 20 yards just right of the centre but Scott Stamp’s strike deflected wide.
A fantastic ball to the far post from Heggs was met by the head of Roma on 62 but he couldn’t keep the ball down and it flew harmlessly over the cross bar from a few yards out.
A Lambs corner on 65 seemed to have evaded the grip of Dickinson and crept in, but was cleared as it went across the face of goal and Heggs’ shot from the resulting flag kick was blocked and cleared.
The home side, shooting toward their much preferred Meadow Street end seemed to be starting to make some meaningful in roads but still ‘Port looked dangerous and Steve Pickford tried his luck from 20 yards on 67 but it was straight at Bowles.
On 71 Neilson crossed from the right for Davidson but he couldn’t get enough purchase on the header to trouble Dickinson too much and Heggs was just a whisker away, unmarked at the far post, from Stamp’s freekick from the other side of the field seconds later as The Lambs continued to grow.
Southport’s Pickford tried an effort from 20 yards on 82 that went over the bar as the visitors showed they too would not be happy with just a point and Tamworth needed all their concentration in the final throws as Cooper brought himself on for a below par Kyle Storer.
But it ended goalless and both side will look for forthcoming games to rescue themselves from the drop.
Jackson (Davidson HT), Reid (Taylor HT)
Heggs, Neilson, Storer (Cooper 85), Roma
Stamps, Smith, Redmile, Folkes
Subs: Dryden, Breedon
Robinson (Jackson 88), Daly
Blakeman, Morley, Pickford
Fitzgerald, Roberts, Brabin, Davis, Lane
Subs: Speare, Powell, Price, Booth
Yellow Cards: Lane 52, Heggs 64
Red Cards: none
MOM: Voted by today’s sponsors: Carlsberg UK, Charnold Ltd, Dave Chapman and Friends: Sean Bowles