Two doubles make the dozen
24 January 2015
Tamworth welcomed Stalybridge Celtic to The Lamb looking to record another league win and take the running total to twelve straight wins. Celtic had been the last team that previous boss Dale Belford had faced earlier in the season and despite a lowly 17th place, were on a run of their own having won four and drawn one in the last five Vanarama Conference North matches, two of which came against bottom club Hyde.
Boss Andy Morrell was unable to field Dan Preston due to his knock to the head against Leamington seven days previously so Dom Smith came into the side and Reece Styche came into the line up at the expense of Brendon Daniels.
After an extended minute of applause following the recent sad loss of Russ Gordon and Dave Baxter Tamworth got the game underway attacking the Meadow Street end. On 4 first Clarke and then Taylor lofted the ball into the centre of the box, aiming for the head of Styche but both times they were just a whisker too high and the forward was unable to get any direction on them.
Visiting keeper King nearly got robbed by the persistence of Styche on 5 and TJ tried to curl the ball into the far right corner on 8 but couldn’t get enough curl on his shot from the left of the box. McKenna tried his luck from distance on 8 but it didn’t really trouble Belshaw at all, so play switched quickly to the other end and The Lambs won a corner on the left which Taylor fired in.
Green hit a powerful shot from 25 yards out on 11 but it went over the target and Hibbert found the ball set up for him to strike right footed from 18 yards but it too rose over King’s bar.
Calvert-Lewin, the opposition’s number 9, looked for the left hand bottom corner on 15 and Belshaw scrambled across to ensure it was always going out.
Hibbert combined with Clarke to feed Styche in the box on 22 but it was too long and there were questions asked on the terraces when the keeper dropped the ball and picked it up again but play continued.
McKenna and Ennis caused some problems for the Lambs defence, trying to get into the box to shape and shoot, around 25 but the back line held strong and play was halted and restarted with a long dead ball by Belshaw.
Green put the ball into the box on 29 and Sampson headed it back towards the near post but it missed the target by inches.
Clarke then fired into the area and forced a corner which Taylor put back in from the left side, but it was too high for Sampson to head down at goal.
Adams low ball from the right wing nearly found Hibbert on 35 but it was nicked off his feet for a right sided corner and Taylors dead ball.
Two goals from Reece Styche came on 36 and 39 respectively when poor defending allowed him to break through in the first instance and slot home, and a short back pass saw him burst onto the loose ball on the edge of the box round King and then fire home into the roof of the net (1-0 then 2-0)
At the other end, Ennis looped a header over Belshaw’s bar from McKenna’s right wing cross on 43. In added time at the end of the half Styche set up Hibbert nicely but his right footed strike from 20 yards was easy enough for King to hold onto and the final whistle blew for half time.
Celtic restarted proceedings and it was soon 3-0 when Clarke headed home Taylor’s pin point cross from the left on 47.
Styche nearly hit his third on 52 but his attempted direct lob from Hibbert’s ball to him on the edge of the area was not high enough to beat the grasp of King and Celtic escaped a fourth.
Crowley’s foul on Hibbert earned him a booking on 56 and Vidal was replaced on 57 by Daniels.
Taylor was unlucky not to make it four on 61, powering his shot from a few yards out at goal but seeing it rebound down off the bar and out.
Taylor was denied again by the feet of the Celtic defence after good work from Daniels set him up with a shot in his stride which was blocked on route to goal on 67.
It was four on 75 and it was Clarke again, this time from a Thornton cross on the left which he headed home strongly at the near post and gave King no chance. (4-0, 75 mins)
Holsgrove set up Calvert-Lewin with a left wing cross which was finished right footed on 80 but the former was then sent off for a second booking on 81.
Crowley escaped a second yellow after pulling Daniels down over the half way line on 90 and the Lambs midfielder struck with power from 25 yards on 93 but his shot cleared the target with King at full stretch.
Belshaw, Vidal (Daniels 57), Sampson, James, Smith, Adams, Green, Clarke, Hibbert, Styche (Thornton 69), Taylor (Wilkins 76)
Subs: Trainer, Morrell
Yellow Cards: none
Red Cards: none
Stalybridge Celtic Team:
King, Crowley, Regan, Dickinson, Brogan, Galinski (Wigley 44), McKenna, Kerr, Calvert-Lewin, Ennis (Cadman 61), Holsgrove
Subs: Staunton-Turner, Quinlan, Martin
Yellow Cards: Crowley 56
Red Cards: Holsgrove 81 (2x yellow cards)
Man of the Match: Tara RoadAir chose Shane Clarke
Referee: Mr. A. Scregg