Andy Morrell made no changes to the starting eleven for the third game in succession as the squad lined up to face Gloucester City. The Lambs newest recruit Lee Fowler had not received clearance in time to make the teamsheet as the 5th placed team went in search of another three points against the Tigers in 16th.
Gloucester got the game underway, attacking the Castle End and Smith headed early on forcing Belshaw into an early save, and from his goal kick Gloucester defender Avery nearly headed past Hadler who had to tip the ball onto the post and catch the rebound. Clarke was booked on 9 for a challenge in the centre circle (receiving his very own birthday card from the referee!) A driven effort from Hanks from 20 yards on 11 tested Belshaw and Smith hit a similar low shot on 12 which Belshaw was equal to again. A challenge from Webb on Burns in front of the Shed on 17 which looked to have had considerably more contact than that of Clarke’s earlier booking resulted in a card for the Gloucester player too. A deep ball from Durrell on the right wing on 20 was taken at height by Hadler and there was another booking on 24 when Anaruo upended Warlow. Following a handball decision against Gloucester, Anaruo was involved in a tussle with Tomassen and was lucky to escape a second yellow with a strong warning but was substituted soon after. Bowen latched onto the loose ball after it had only been half cleared on 40 and struck left footed powerfully over the target. The Lambs took the lead though on 42 when Mettams ball was met by Clarke in the middle of the box and despite a good save and the best efforts of Hadler, Preston headed the ball home from close range (1-0, 42 mins) And it was 2-0 three minutes later when Racchi raced to the edge of the box and met Clarke’s centre with a left footed finish into the bottom right corner of the net (2-0, 45 mins) One minute added time ended with The Lambs on top.
HT: Tamworth 20 Gloucester City
The Lambs restarted proceedings and Hadler’s enforced error clearing the danger could have been capitalised on by Newton but he didn’t get a clean strike away with the keeper out of his goal. Newton forced a corner on 49 and from the ensuing play, the ball fell to Mettam who tried a shot but took the play too and received a yellow card for his troubles. After much deliberation between the linesman and the referee on 56 the linesman’s view of a previously awarded corner resulted in a penalty for Gloucester and Smith reduced the arrears with a low shot to Belshaw’s right. (2-1, 56 mins) A fine pass from Mettam to Newton down the right channel set the striker free on the hour but the ball skipped away on the damp surface and the shot came too late to trouble Hadler. Hanks floated the ball from the right wing onto the head of Bowen on 62 andthe resultant header left Belshaw rooted to the spot as the ball went wide of the mark. Newton was replaced by Dyer on 65 and the latter nodded the ball back for Mettam on 69 but his shot curled harmlessly wide of the mark. Clarke forced the Tigers defence into conceding a corner on 73 and Durrell’s dead ball was met at the edge of the area by Racchi but the Gloucester defence cleared and broke up field, resulting in an easy catch for Belshaw. Roberts replaced Mettam on 77 as Tamworth rejigged for the final quarter of the game as Gloucester went in search of an equaliser with near continual pressure in The Lambs half. Morrell replaced Durrell for the final few minutes and a deep freekick by the visitors caused some problems at the back but Belshaw was able to gather it and slow play down a little. Four minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and there was nothing that could be done about Cooke’s finish on 91 when the ball came across from the right and was finished from close range to end the game with both sides having to share the spoils.
Belshaw, Burns, Warlow, Racchi, Tomassen, Preston, Durrell (Morrell 86), Clarke, Newton (Dyer 65), Mettam (Roberts 77), Green Subs: Strong, Davies