Woodwork tested but no goals in final outing of 2009
28 December 2009
At a cold and foggy Lamb, Gary Mills had made one change to the side that returned from Kettering with a point on Boxing Day - Bradley Pritchard returning from suspension for Simon Brown who took a place on the bench, but Neil MacKenzie broke down in training pre-match returning Brown to the starting eleven and bringing Langdon onto the bench.
Tamworth got the game underway kicking towards Meadow Street but it was the visitors who got the first half chance of the game when Powell picked up the ball on the right of the area but was unable to get a shot away on the turn and The Lambs cleared.
A challenge on the half way line on 3 earned Rnaking a booking and Briscoe started play with a right footed freekick into the box which Rovers cleared.
A hefty challenge on Rnaking by Smith 5 yards outside the box on 8 gave Rovers a freekick which Platt struck into the wall and was then headed behind for a goal kick.
Shaw fired a right footed freekick in the middle of the Forest Green half into the area which Smith nodded into the area and although Briscoe went for the ball it took a clearance off the line by Hodgkiss to prevent it going in.
The pace of the game was unrelenting and although passes went astray at times there was no let up from either side in the opening quarter of an hour.
A deft freekick from Shaw found the head of Smith inside the box which was then met by Christie's head at the far post on 15 but it flicked just over the corner of bar and post.
Another foul this time on the right wing set up Shaw with a dead ball chance on 16 and Brown met it with his left foot but misdirected it out of play.
Wylde stole in to try and capitalise on some hesitancy in the Forest Green defence on 18 but couldn't direct his interception goalward and on 20 Pritchard was caught just offside as he beat the Rovers defence and ran onto Brown's pass.
Platt caused some panic in the Lambs defence a minute later with a low shot on the left which eventually made its way out for a corner but a foul before the ball even reached the area from the flag kick halted the visitors push forward.
Sheridan received a yellow card for a tame challenge on Brown on 28 and on 30 Wylde was penalised for a tackle on Smith which he seemed to have won cleanly to pass back to Alcock, but Platt's freekick only found Wylde's head.
Wylde was then floored by Brown on the half way line earning the Rovers number seven a booking and Tamworth pushed forward through Pritchard whose pass for Christie was just too strong for him to run onto allowing Burton to collect.
The Lambs won a corner on 38 which Christie headed goalward twice before Burton took at height.
Then on 40 Brown crossed from the left wing and planted the ball onto Rodman's head at the far post but he couldn't direct his effort towards goal and it skimmed out of play.
Tamworth kept up the pressure with Rodman seeing his shot blocked, but Rovers broke and Shaw was booked for a tackle from behind on Powell 35 yards out on the right wing. Platt once again stepped up but Sheridan cleared and The Lambs moved forward again only for Wylde's left sided cross to bend out of play past the far post with Rodman unable to stretch to reach the half chance.
A push on Sheridan gave Shaw another dead ball on 45 which bobbled around the box as three minutes added time was shown and Alcock made a good stop as Hodgkiss bore down on goal in the final action of the first half.
Forest Green kicked off the second half underway and the pace of the game continued as it had been in the first half.
Christie chased down a long ball towards the area on 38 and appeared to be bundled over en route but the referee waved play on and the same player got a shot at goal after a good turn in the area on 50 but saw it saved by Burton's legs at the near post.
Christie then beat t he offside trap and unselfishly fed Pritchard on the edge of the area only for Thorne to put a telling boot in the way and send the ball out for a corner which was headed behind for another corner on the left but Brown's turn past the far post saw the ball run through to Burton.
Smith received a booking for the visitors on 54 for a rash challenge on Shaw on the half way line but when Pritchard received the ball on the left of the area his cross looking for Christie went out of play before it reached the Lambs front man.
A deft pass from Stonehouse found Platt on the left of the area on 57 and his low shot took a deflection causing Alcock to quickly drop to smother the ball.
At the other end, Rodman won a corner on the left on 59 which hit the back of Briscoe's head and fell to Rodman who tried to hook the ball back into the area but found his way blocked by the covering defender and when play switched to the other end Platt swept a left footed shot from the edge of the box wide of the right hand post.
Platt then had to leave the field after taking a knock in a challenge which earned The Lambs a freekick in the process and Pritchard was brought down after flicking the ball over Thorne on 63 who earned himself a booking.
From the freekick Rodman struck the base of the right hand upright from distance and when the ball bounced up and around the area, Smith headed against the top of the bar.
Then Smith charged down a clearance by Alcock and the Forest Green man almost saw his block cannon into the net. During this time The Lambs' Smith was receiving treatment for an injury in the changing rooms leaving Tamworth a man short for a few minutes.
Powell struck a deflected shot over the bar for a Forest Green corner on 69 which Tamworth cleared as Smith returned to the field complete with bandaged head.
Brown knocked Stonehouse to the floor a yard out of goal as the ball bounced into the area on 73 while another freekick was won by the visitors on 74 which glanced O'Cearuill's head in a central position from the right wing dead ball and Rovers won a corner on 75 which Tait headed away from danger.
Burton punched the ball out from a Shaw freekick on 78 and it fell to Brown but his snap shot screwed high and wide of the mark and at the other end Tait denied Rocastle's drive for the target with a telling full bodied block.
With 8 to go, Christie went shoulder to shoulder with O'Cearuill chasing down the ball towards the edge of the area and managed to get a boot onto it to lift it over Burton but it bounced agonisingly wide of the left hand post and out.
Pritchard became the seventh booking of the game on 84 and Smith then picked up the Lambs fourth booking off the game, making it eight in total for a late challenge midway inside The Lambs half.
The 87th minute came and with it the 600th minute without a league goal for The Lambs.
As the match entered the final minute of normal time Tait forced a right sided corner and a push on Smith in the box as the ball came over went unpunished as three minutes added time was shown.
Powell tried his luck with a curling shot deep into stoppage time but only managed to put it straight into Alcock's arms in the final action of the game.
Alcock, Tait, Smith C., Wylde, Rodman, Pritchard, Sheridan, Shaw, Briscoe, Brown S, Christie
Subs: Blackwood, Lyttle, Langdon, Lake-Gaskin, Ulker
Forest Green Rovers Team:
Burton, Stonehouse, Brown, Platt, Smith J., Powell, Rocastle, O'Caeruill, Thorne, Hodgkiss, Rawkin
Subs: Preece, Else, Henry, Joyce, Wilkinson
Man of the Match: Selected by Gourmet Chef To Go: Chris Smith
Referee: R.D. Mohareb