Two goals for, none against = 3 points
22 February 2011
The Lambs travelled to Holker Street to face bottom four club AFC Barrow with manager Des Lyttle looking for his side to cut out the ‘schoolboy errors' that saw the side surrender a point to league leaders AFC Wimbledon at the weekend.
Lyttle made three changes to the side from Saturday - Jay Smith, Jake Sheridan and Ben Wilkinson came into the starting eleven at the expense of Aaron Mitchell, Neil MacKenzie and Richard Tait - starting the first of a two game ban for 10 yellow cards.
With Aaron Farrell suffering a hamstring pull in training, Adi Yussuf ruled out for a similar injury and Jason Bradley completing his four game ban Lyttle was forced to complete his squad with the other available players - Jevaise Christie, Malvin Kamara and keeper Louis Connor making up the five on the bench.
With poor form going into the game Barrow would be guaranteed a move out of the bottom four if they won the game, while Tamworth on the back of three without a win would extend the gap to nine points over their hosts if they were successful..
Barrow started the game with The Lambs attacking the ‘Cross Bar' end of the field with a 4-5-1 formation - Courtney at right back, Smith ‘floating' in midfield and Perry on his own up front, and an early shot came from Bradley 25 yards out which keeper Masters collected routinely.
Atkins rushed out to clear a short backpass from Courtney on 6 as The Lambs saw the ball in their half for a brief time which had seen the side camped out in the home end in the opening exchanges.
Perry had seen an attempted volley well blocked and Bradley fed Barrow with a good through ball but his cross was headed away.
Rutherford and Almond combined down the right on 8 with a good cross forcing Atkins to protect his goal with a high catch at the near post and the pair were at it again shortly after but The Lambs defence blocked the advance.
Sheridan found himself on the edge of the area a minute later, but was unable to control the ball sufficiently to get a good shot away and Hulbert left the field after a crunching tackle, not to return.
Perry nodded down for Wilkinson on the edge of the area on 15 and he hit a good shot at Masters which caused the keeper to fumble before a freekick was given as Sheridan tried to follow in.
Bradley's ball from the left of the area was seen by Perry on 18 and he tried to get an overhead kick away but it didn't come off and a corner was conceded by Barrow, which was headed away and another won, but they did the same again, regaining possession from a freekick after a foul by Thomas.
Barrow (from here-on referred to as Scott) put a timely challenge in to deny Almond's cross form the right on 20 to give the home side a corner and Chadwick's low shot from 18 yards was deflected behind through a crowd of players for a flag kick on the other side in front of the big TFC flag by the tea hut requesting fans ‘get stuffed' (!) and the small band of travelling fans in front of it before Perry headed it away and Tamworth tried to build from the back.
Two good balls came in from the right but were cleared both times and when Perry was bundled over outside the D, the freekick came in quickly but Masters was equal to Sheridan's effort.
The Lambs continued to have the lion's share of possession but a quick Barrow counter forced Marshall to head a cross away, under pressure on 25.
Scott tried a right footed strike from 25 yards on 30 but dragged his effort wide of the right hand post and Courtney lifted a shot towards goal a minute later from the right of the area but Masters caught it on his line.
With The Lambs continuing to keep the ball more than their hosts Scott was brought down o the half way line inside the final ten minutes of the first half but picked himself up and a good move down the right saw Bradley whip in a cross which Wilkinson headed over the bar from 8 yards out in between two defenders.
After escaping a snap shot and deflection at the other end Tamworth pushed on again but handball by Bradley gave Barrow the chance to regroup again and win a corner via a Nicholas cross blocked by the left flag which Bradley headed away from danger.
Marshall went down holding his head after a challenge inside the Lambs back four on 40 and when play resumed, Wilkinson went on a surging run down the left but was unable to get around the last man as the ball ran over the touchline for a goal kick.
And then on 42 Thomas slammed home from the left of the area inside the far post after good play involving Bradley, Smith, Perry and finally Thomas split the defence for the opening goal (1-0, 42 mins)
Barrow restarted play and won a corner n the left causing Tamworth to defend in numbers with Atkins pulling off a fingertip save to deny Chadwick's looping dipping shot from the edge of the box.
One minute added time was shown before the whistle blew for the end of the first period.
Tamworth got the second half away and immediately put the ball into the far left corner winning a throw and pushing on, Bradley got the ball on the right and forced Masters to fumble again but Wilkinson couldn't get purchase on the ball and the Bluebirds cleared.
Edwards then won a corner on the left off the heels of Sheridan and Atkins came to collect the resultant header, stretching to get it at the second attempt.
Play switched to the other end and Bradley's flick from Thomas's centre was cleared, before Perry just failed to get a touch onto a pull back from the left.
Shouts of frustration from the stand peppered the home singing on 50 when Baker's ball into the area went nowhere and Bradley lifted his shot from 25 yards out, over the bar.
Rutherford fed Nicholas with a fine through ball on 53 but the latter found Atkins in fine form to deny him and The Lambs raced to the other end through Sheridan who won a corner on the right.
Bradley flicked the dead ball with a deft nod of the head on and Perry stole in at the far post to double The Lambs advantage with a headed finish to get the 20 Lambs fans celebrating again. (2-0, 54 mins)
Barrow won a corner on the right on 57 and a strong challenge on Scott saw him go flying to give Atkins the deadball inside his six yard box as the home side made their second change.
A spell of home pressure ended on 61 with a Rutherford snap shot effort into the side netting form the left of the area and an effort from Cook went out by the left hand corner flag despite his shot coming from the centre of the D.
The move to a 3-4-3 formation was bringing problems for Tamworth and Almond fired just wide of the right hand post a minute later from the left of the area as Barrow looked a revitalised side.
The pace of the game refused to let up and The Lambs were forced to clear long to try and stop Barrow playing.
A foul on Bradley in the centre circle on 69 found Thomas on the left wing but his ball in was gathered cleanly by Masters and Atkins quickly got a touch of his own from the long kick forwards.
Bradley's long ball up field looked to have set up Perry who turned in the area and although he fell under pressure the referee was having none of it and waved play on.
Then, on 72, a long throw into the area from the right bounced high in the box and Chadwick struck the bar with a close range header which was too powerful for what was needed to see the ball go past Atkins and Tamworth survived the Barrow attack.
Rutherford made another of his surging runs into the left of the box and forced Atkins to parry the ball behind at his near post for a corner on 75 which almost saw the Lambs break through Thomas but masters rushed out to boot the ball away from his run onto Bradley's pass.
The home side got the ball back inside the Lambs box again via another throw and a game of head tennis and although Tamworth cleared Barrow started again, pushing The Lambs back until a shirt pull against Barrow gave Atkins time to calm things down for a brief time.
Two nil up and with just over 10 minutes to go this was no time for nice defensive football as Barrow continued to exert pressure with every move and Tamworth were made continue defend strongly and look for an attacking move if and when one arose.
Perry forced a left sided corner with five to go which Smith dinked to the near post and it was headed behind for another which Barrow cleared and then broke forward. Almond put the ball in and a Wilkinson slid in to stop the chance, then another shot came in and a wicked deflection looked to be taking it into the net but Atkins, almost wrong footed, threw himself at it and pushed it out for a corner which was cleared.
Bradley chased a ball into the area and Masters caught the brunt of the fair challenge allowing for a brief respite in play as the keeper received treatment, with a couple of minutes to go, which also saw Christie come on for Perry as four minutes added time was shown.
As the clock ran down there was no let up from Barrow who were still going in search of a way back into the game but Tamworth were having none of it and celebrated the win at the final whistle.
Atkins, Marshall, Courtney, Wylde, Smith (capt), Perry (Christie 90), Thomas, Sheridan, Bradley D, Barrow, Wilkinson
Subs: Mitchell, MacKenzie, Connor, Kamara
Masters, Pearson, Edwards, Jones (Cook 58), Bolland, Rutherford, Hulbert (Spender 10), Baker, Chadwick, Almond, Nicholas
Subs: Pearson, Goodfellow, Blundell
Man of the Match: Chosen by the press bench (!): Ross Atkins
Referee: S. Duncan