Taylor header moves Lambs out of the dropzone
17 March 2007
Tamworth were hoping for the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day with Emmet Friars being presented with caps for Northern Ireland prior to the game and welcomed Halifax Town to the Lamb in the first of 5 out of six home games in a busy period for Gary Mills’ Lambs. Mills made two changes to the side that fell to a 1-0 defeat at Grays in midweek. Simon Weaver was ruled out with a knee injury and Matt Williams back pull kept him out of the squad, but there was a welcome return to the starting line up for both Adie Smith and Emmet Friars.
Meanwhile, Halifax came to the game on the back of chairman Geoff Ralph’s resignation in the week.
It was a gloriously sunny afternoon that welcomed both teams out and with both needing points but it was The Lambs that took the lead after just 2 minutes 51 seconds when Darryl Taylor headed past Craig Mawson from Jake Edwards headed flick from a throw in on the right. (1-0)
Edwards made Mawson collect a well struck but relatively easy effort on the clubhouse end goal on 8 after good work from Taiwo Atieno and Edwards headed John McGrath’s corner over the bar on 12.
Halifax forced two corners in succession on 17 and although the first was fired into the danger area, the second was wasted. Darryn Stamp tried his luck from distance shortly after, but shot off target.
Tamworth won a corner on 24 and it took a defensive header from Stamp to give the Lambs another straight after which Steven Haslam headed behind for another flag kick but Heslop couldn’t make it count.
Felix Bastians was denied a penalty quiet rightly by referee Mr Waugh on 30 after tangling with Graeme Law in the area.
A good move by the visitors called Jose Veiga into action on 37, gathering at the feet of Stamp as he shaped to shoot in the area.
Simon Helsop fed Taylor with a good ball on the edge of the area and it took a clearance from Halifax to clear their lines after his shot went wayward. Heslop then fed the ball across the face of goal but there was no one there to put the ball home and the chance went begging on 39.
Danny Forrest got a shot away just before the break but it cannoned off the Lambs defence and fell to Tyrone Thompson who skied his effort from the edge of the area high over the bar.
Reflecting the niggly start to the second half Tamworth won a freekick by the corner flag and McGrath’s kick was headed high over their own bar for a conrer but Mawson collected easily.
Heslop weaved his way through the Halifax defence to get a shot at goal on 55 but it took a deflection but from the corner Mawson gathered under pressure at his far post.
The Shaymen won two corners in succession just past the hour mark – the first was deflected away for the second and Rikki Bains headed clear. Taylor raced at Mawson as the ball was played back to him and almost stole the ball from his feet but it went out of play for a goal kick.
The game was disjointed with both sides struggling to keep control for any length of time and the killer instinct in the final third was notable by it’s absence.
Heslop released Taylor on 70 but the goalscorers ball back into the danger area went wayward and at the other end Halifax exerted some pressure but the Lambs defence coped and cleared as required.
Chris Billy’s deflected shot from 20 yards almost snuck past Veiga when it changed direction off Stamp but the Lams keeper watched it go wide of his post on 80.
Adie Smith had to leave the field to be replaced by Dave Bampton on 84 after seemingly winning a tackle but getting booked in the process but had pulled a muscle in the challenge.
Billy struck for goal again on 86 but his shot deflected off Bains and went wide of the post for another Halifax corner which The Lambs cleared and Thompson shot high over the bar from distance on 88.
Three minutes added time came and went and with it Tamworth moved out of the relegation zone for the first time since November 25th.
McGrath, Briscoe, Heslop, Taylor (Quistin 89)
Friars, Bains, Smith (Bampton 84), Law
Subs: Storer, Burton, Stevenson
Bastians (Torpey 67), Billy, Thompson, Killeen (Smeltz 57)
Wright, Cresswell, Strong, Haslam
Subs: Quinn, Kearney, Uhlenbeek
Yellow Cards: Smith 84, Taylor 88
Goals: Taylor 3
Referee: Jock Waugh (Sheffield)
MOM: as voted by match sponsors: The White Lion TFC Crew: Michael Briscoe