Veiga sees red on final day
28 April 2007
Tamworth travelled to Cambridge looking to go out of non league’s top flight on a high after midweek results elsewhere condemned them to the drop without kicking a ball.
However, there was still a lot to play for in this, the final game of the season, as if The Lambs could record a victory against their hosts then it could force United to the drop if results elsewhere went against them.
A gloriously sunny day at The Abbey Stadium greeted both sides as Tamworth boss Gary Mills took one last look at his squad in action before starting the job of rebuilding the side for the next campaign.
Cambridge started the brighter of the two sides attacking down the left wing and won a corner on 2 which came to nothing as Simon Weaver received treatment for a cut on his head from a clash in the previous build up.
Pitt raced onto a great through ball down the left on 5 and delivered a good cross into the centre but a foul against the Robbie Simpson on Jose Veiga halted play as both went up for the high ball.
Rob Wolleaston sliced a 20 yard shot wide of the mark shortly after receiving a long throw and Weaver did well to deny Daniel Chillingworth with a telling tackle.
Seconds later United won another corner and although The Lambs struggled to clear the danger, Viega eventually collected.
Tamworth’s first attack on the opposition goal came after 8 minutes and ended with Rikki Bains blasting the ball over the stand behind the goal from 8 yards.
Taiwo Atieno won a freekick on 10 after being felled by Andy Duncan and John McGrath stepped up to launch the ball left footed into the danger area but the ball in was poor and the home side broke to the other end and won another corner which Dave Bampton headed clear of danger.
Darryl Taylor found space on the right wing to make a path towards goal but flashed his shot off target and John McGrath floated a freekick into the area on 16 which was met by the head of Atieno but his effort went over the bar.
Veiga almost paid the price for a poorly directed short pass to Ryan Lynch on 18 allowing Robbie Simpson to steal in but thankfully for the Lambs keeper the angle was too tight and he closed down well to force a corner which was headed high over the bar by Daniel Brown.
Cambridge’s leading goalscorer Simpson should have opened the scoring on 21 after excellent control set himself up for a right footed shot on the edge of the area but his strike rolled past the left hand upright and out for a goal kick.
Pitt’s left wing cross should have been finished off by Chillingworth on 26 but his header was in completely the wrong direction and Tamworth cleared.
The Us won a freekick on the left on 28 and caused some pressure in the area, but when Cillingworth fell under a challenge from the Lambs defence the referee was having none of it and Tamworth cleared once again.
A push on Simpson 3 yards off the edge of the area won the home side yet another freekick on 32 which Pitt floated over the Lambs wall and also wide of the near post.
As the half wore on the scorching temperatures looked to be talking their toll a little as the tempo slowed although there was obviously no lack in commitment from either side. Brown struck wide from distance on 41 after good build up play from the home side and Chillingworth won a corner on 45 which Duncan headed on only for Viega to flick over his bar for another flag kick – which Weaver headed over for a third corner (wasted) in first half stoppage time.
Tamworth kicked off the second half kicking toward the three quarter full seating stand behind Paul Crichton’s goal but it was Jose Veiga who had to be quick to shepherd out a deflected shot for a corner and then deny Duncan with a point blank save when well off his line.
Pitt sent a ball into the danger area on 50 which evaded the dive of everyone in the six yard box and out for a goal kick as the home side continued their pressure. Simpson and Viega clattered in the area shortly after and the Lambs keeper received a booking for his response to the challenge after the whistle had already blown and awarded him the freekick.
Cambridge won another corner on 53 which Tamworth had to be on their mettle to defend against and eventually the home side forced another but the Lambs cleared.
Another flowing move down the right wing by the home side was cleared by a last ditch boot from Weaver on 56.
Then on 57 Jose Veiga met with Dan Gleeson inside the edge of the area as both went for a high ball which resulted in the Lambs keeper walking to the dressing room for an early bath and a penalty for the home side. Michael Briscoe took over between the posts and Simpson slotted home from the spot to make it 1-0 to Cambridge on 59.
Emmet Friars came on to go into goal on 63 and Jake Edwards also came into the fray at the same time and in a bid to get something from the game Matt Williams also took his place in the front line a minute or so later.
Friars stopped a good drive from Simpson on 68 and Tamworth looked to be getting back into the game and won a corner on 72 but Crichton collected easily.
Atieno made a great run at the home goal on 75 but shot high over the bar from 10 yards and at the other end Simpson, who struck a right footed shot from the right of the area goalward, was denied by the ankles of Friars on 77.
Cambridge continued to press but Tamworth defended resolutely and Friars seemed to be settling into his new role quite well. Another home corner came on 80 and Darren Quinton’s shot was deflected for the 13th home flagkick shortly after which came to nothing.
Williams won a Lambs freekick 30 yards out on 86 which McGrath fired low into the area only for the home defence to clear and Cambridge tried to get a second goal but poor finishing let them down despite a few close calls and the final whistle eventually blew on the Lambs stay in the Conference.
McGrath, Tuohy (Edwards 63), Heslop, Bampton (Friars 63), Taylor (Williams 65)
Lynch, Bains, Briscoe, Weaver
Subs: Storer, Law
Chillingworth (Purser 87), Simpson
Pitt, Brown (Bridges 76), Wolleaston, Quinton, Gleeson
Duncan, Peters, Morrison
Subs: Herbert, Simpson, Collins
Yellow Cards: Veiga 50, Weaver
Red Cards: Veiga 57 (second yellow)
Referee: Mr. S. Cook
Att: 6021 (234 Tamworth)
(Apologies to any Tamworth fans hoping for a report from the game, connection problems prevented updates from The Abbey Stadium)