Winning goal comes Wright on time!
13 September 2008Tamworth welcomed Gateshead to The Lamb for a league clash between fourth and seventh in the table.
Boss Gary Mills selected the same eleven for the sixth game running. In fact only one change had been made to the league starting eleven all season – Lee Hildreth being the one and finding himself on the bench after a run out on Tuesday night in the Setanta Shield win over King’s Lynn.
Gateshead kicked off the game towards the top end where two dozen travelling fans were making themselves heard and on 2 McAughtrie put the ball behind for a corner from a deep right wing cross from David Southern.
Wylde cleared the immediate danger but Gateshead kept up the early pressure.
However, Tamworth responded through a good set up and effort from Wright on 5 and Foster fed Sheldon on 9 but the final ball into the box looking for Pritchard was off target.
Armstrong got the better of the Lambs defence on 11 from Phillips centre but Puiddy was quickest to stop the danger.
Sheldon was penalised with a booking for a sliding tackle on 13 on Baxter after appearing to have taken the ball first.
The Lambs were being forced to think quickly by their hardworking visitors who were not afraid to put in a challenge or two and on 16 Puddy’s clearance fell short allowing Phillips a shot at goal, but he screwed his effort wide of the mark from the left of the area.
And on 17 Kris Gate gave Gateshead the lead with a deft finish from the edge of the area after a flick on set him free of the home defence with just Puddy to beat. (0-1, 17 mins)
Puddy pulled off a good save from Phillips on 22 when the nippy forward made space to get a shot away inside the area and Foster cleared Southern’s header at the far post off the line from the corner.
Rodman put a header from 18 yards off target on 25 after good work down the right wing ended with a pinpoint Lyttle cross.
On 28 Musslewhite was just quickest to the ball as Sheldon bore down on it.
Lyttle picked up the second Lambs booking on 33 after consultation by the referee with his linesman which left the crowd bemused to say the least and on 34 the whole Shed appealed for a hand ball on the half way line but nothing was given by the referee.
Gateshead raced to win a corner via a Lyttle tackle but it came to nothing and on 36 Armstrong tried to curl an effort into the far corner but miscued his shot wide of the mark.
Tamworth responded again but were forced to build from the back and when Rodman eventually received the ball on the left his cross found no-one at the far post.
Sheldon and Jones clashed heads on 39 leaving both players needing treatment inside the visitors half.
On 43 Gateshead won a corner when it looked like Phillips had carried the ball over the line under pressure from Lyttle but wasted the dead ball.
They got another on 44 which Puddy collected easily at height and in the final move of the half, Wright found himself with the ball at his feet in the area but was unable to get a shot away under pressure.
Gary Mills made a change at half time, bringing Hildreth on for Pritchard and Tamworth kicked off looking to get back into the game quickly.
And it almost came on 48 when Rodman unleashed a left foot half volley from the edge of the area which went just wide of the left hand upright.
With the sun on their backs Tamworth showed they mean business putting some good pressure on the visiting defence.
Wright unleashed a close range shot on 49 which Musslewhite batted away and Rodman got into a good position but saw his cross come shot blocked by a defender.
Gateshead then exerted some pressure of their own but failed to test Puddy while causing the Lambs defence to work hard.
On 56 Hildreth caused Musslewhite to punch the ball clear from his right sided cross into the box.
An error by Lyttle allowed Armstrong to win a corner as he ran through against McAughtrie but play was stopped when Langdon was floored by a wayward boot from the flag kick.
Stephen Turnbull put the ball across the face of the goal from the right and Tamworth conceded another flag kick but Phillips header was not a good one and Mills then made another change – bringing Lea on for Sheldon.
Gateshead won another flag kick on 64 but again nothing came from it.
McAughtrie had to leave the field shortly after, after going down the in area with what appear to be a muscle strain forcing a third Lambs change which brought Sheridan on.
Ian Bogie then made his first change of the game, replacing Phillips and on 68 Lea was unlucky with the bounce from Rodman’s cross as he saw his first touch go straight back to Musselwhite.
Sheridan unleashed a right footed drive straight at Musslewhite on 70 as the visitors were forced to be content to try and soak up the pressure and the same player tried his luck again on 73 but shot well wide from 20 yards.
A foul on Rodman won the Lambs a freekick 30 yards from goal on 75 which saw the Gateshead captain receive a talking to from Mr Hayward as Hildreth lined up a chip into the area but the ball eventually found its way back to the keeper.
Rodman crossed from the right onto the head of Wright on 79, but the effort skimmed wide of the mark.
At the other end a mistake from Foster saw Armstrong run free and hit a right footed effort against the base of the far upright on 79 before Tamworth attacked and Lea was denied by two defenders as he struck for goal.
As the game moved into the last ten minutes Tamworth were still looking for a clear cut chance on goal and won a freekick on the right after a foul on Rodman and Wright duly delivered with a fine near post header past a flatfooted Gateshead defence. (1-1, 83min)
Phil Turnbull picked up a yellow card for halting the run of Rodman mid stride 10 yards inside the Gateshead half on 85 and The Lambs pushed on and won a corner on 86.
Lea saw his shot from the edge of the area go out for a corner with shouts of handball form the terraces but only won a corner and from it Sheridan blasted from 25 yards but cleared the bar.
Sheridan then won a penalty for the Lambs on 88 when Baxter brought him down as the ball bounced at head height and Wright stepped up and made it 2-1 with just over a minute of normal play remaining (2-1, 89)
Three minutes added time was shown and Tamworth did their best to keep the ball in the corners and won a corner on 92 via Wright’s cushioned header.
Musslewhite launhed the ball into a crowded area deep into injury time but it was all over seconds later as The Lambs continued their good form with another win.
Puddy, Lyttle, Langdon, McAughtrie (Sheridan 65), Wylde, Foster, Wright, Smith, Sheldon (Lea 62), Rodman, Pritchard (Hildreth HT)
Subs: Warburton, Law
Musslewhite, Baxter, Brackstone, Gate (Francis 73), Hocking, Jones, Southern, Turnbull P, Armstrong, Turnbull S (Salvin 78), Phillips (Harwood 67).
Subs: Norton, Rae
Man of the Match: Alex Rodman
Referee: Mr K. Hayward (Stoke on Trent)