Tamworth FC v Barwell
For the first outing of 2019 Tamworth welcomed Barwell as both sides went head to head in a league fixture for the first time. Former Macclesfield keeper Luke Simpson made his debut in goal after the injury to Jas Singh at Alvechurch as one of three changes with Concannon and Jemson returning to the starting eleven at the expense of Magunda, who also picked up a knock in the previous run out, and Sharpe who took a place on the bench.
The Lambs kicked off proceedings towards the Meadow Street End in the first half and Simpson was called into action to clear a ball towards his area in the early exchanges.
Lait made a strong run in to the box but was challenged and the ball was cleared and at the other end McDonald struck a low shot which Simpson took well.
Tamworth took the lead on 6 minutes after a foul on the left of the D and he placed his freekick through the gap in the wall and into the bottom left of the net with keeper Castle unable to do anything about it. (1-0, 6 mins)
On 10 Barwell captain Hickey shot low and wide of the left post from distance as the Tamworth defence uncharacteristically opened up at the back and then Rowe headed into the grateful grasp of Simpson.
McDonald picked up a booking for a foul on Lait on 22 and the freekick was met powerfully by the head of Smith in the right of the area but he couldn’t direct it on target.
Percival was booked for a push in the back of Lait after a good passage of play from Maphosa to Taylor to Lait on the edge of the D and Lait lined up the ball again but curled his freekick just of the bar.
There was more passing play out of defence to Smith on 32 and his ball through found Lait but his shot from 20 yards rose over the target.
Julien’s challenge on Maphosa in the right channel 35 yards from goal set up Lait with another dead ball on 36 and it came out to Lait again, but his shot over a crowded box didn’t trouble Castle.
Julien was then booked for a challenge on Lait on the halfway line and although the referee allowed play to go on he took the Barwell defender’s name after Taylor’s shot put the ball out of play.
Barwell equalised on 40 through Hickey’s header from 8 yards out after Simpson came out to meet a through ball down the Barwell right just outside his six yard box and it popped up for Rowe to cross back into the area for the captain to nod home into an almost empty net. (1-1, 40 mins)
After a brief stoppage in play for the Barwell physio to attend to Eze in his own area, added time came and Taylor forced a right sided corner which Lait played short to Smith and back to Lait to put it back into the mix.
It was met by the head of Maphosa and he powered it past Castle to lift the roof on the Lambs before the half time whistle blew. (2-1, 45 mins)
HT: TAMWORTH 2 1 BARWELL
Barwell restarted the match with only ten players on the field as McDonald came back onto the field a couple of minutes after the game had got back underway.
They equalised for the second time in the game on 51 when Eze finished from close range after a corner from the right was not dealt with. (2-2, 51 mins)
Davidson-Miller let fly with a right footed drive on 53 which whistled past the left hand upright but in the next move The Lambs were back in control when Lait’s defence splitting pass through to Taylor was taken by the striker and rolled past the exposed keeper to regain the lead (3-2, 54 mins)
Eze tripped Lait as he tried to go past him down the left wing on 58 and earned himself a booking.
Waite replaced Concannon on 63 and should have finished a move between Smith and Taylor which saw the latter set him up with a very good sidefooted chance from 18 yards on 69, but he missed hit his shot and forced a corner.
From the ensuing play from the flagkick Waite and Blackmore both went for the same ball and the Barwell substitute went down holding his ankle.
After a moments contemplation the referee showed Waite a straight red card and Blackmore got up and continued in his midfield role seemingly non the worse for it.
After Shaw replaced Smith on 72 Tamworth pushed forwards and with the ball by the clubhouse corner of the ground Eze brought down Taylor and picked up his second yellow card and took an early bath, leaving both sides with 10 men.
As both sides readjusted to playing with a man short and following a couple of substitutions around the ten minutes to play mark, the game settled back down but there were little in the way of chances at either end.
A deep freekick taken by Castle at the halfway line was taken confidently by Simpson in the Lambs penalty area in added time. Simpson protected his post and concede a corner on 94 and the ball went out to Tomkinson who whipped in a cross from the left for one time Lamb Gascoigne to head home the equaliser from 8 yards out, and the final whistle blew after play restarted (3-3, 94 mins)
Simpson, Green K, Gough, Maphosa, Kettle, Jemson, Concannon (Waite 63), Verma, Smith (Shaw 72), Taylor, Lait (Potts 83)
Subs: Sharpe, Jeynes
RC: Waite 70
Castle, Percival, Putman, Eze, Gascoigne, Julien, Rowe (Blackmore 63), Tomkinson, McDonald (Morgan 82), Hickey (c.), Davidson-Miller
Subs: Cross, Towers, Hadland
YC: McDonald 22, Percival 27, Tomkinson 36, Julien 38, Eze 58+75
RC: Eze 75
Man of the Match: Guinan Girls Logistics chose Michael Taylor
Referee: Mr. Simon Brown