Tamworth FC v Banbury United
After the return to winning ways on the road at Needham Market seven days previously, The Lambs welcomed the Puritans to the CR MOT Centre Community Stadium for game 35 of the season. Both sides entered the tie with identical playing records, W11 D11 L12, although a four point deduction put United a couple of places lower than The Lambs in 13th. Tamworth started the game 12 points behind the playoffs and with a goal difference of +9, 10 better than their opponents who had just one win in their last seven.
Management duo of Gary Smith and Andy Danylyszyn, made one change to the side bringing Shaw in for Frances.
Banbury got the game underway with Tamworth attacking the Meadow Street of the ground.
The Lambs started brightly with Lait and Waite both trying to make runs into the left of the box and Concannon threaded the ball out of midfield but it was too strong for Waite to sprint on to.
Lait received the ball long into the left corner from Kettle on 12 and was upended by former Lambs Odihambo (previously Anaclet) for a freekick.
Beswick lifted the freekick across the six yard box and onto the head of Waite who had enough space and time to direct his header home inside the far post for his 10th goal of the season. (1-0, 13 mins)
The visitors forced a corner on the left on 18 via a deflected shot from the left onto the roof of the net and Beswick headed it clear, but Banbury worked it forwards again and Kettle conceded a corner with a timely tackle.
On 22 a foul by Shaw allowed Banbury to expose a gap at the back from the deadball as Johnson flashed a free header wide of the right hand post.
Waite doubled the advantage on 24 though courtesy of a superb ball from Shaw over the top of the United defence and an equally as brilliant lobbed finish from Waite 30 yards out off the bounce. (2-0, 24 mins)
Lait made it 3 on 27 with a considered finish after a through ball from Clement allowed him to leave Odihambo standing and then after a dart into the left of the box he produced a cool finish (3-0, 27 mins)
Shamsi struck a powerful shot from distance on 30 which Singh dropped well to smother it.
After a break in play while Shamsi recovered from cramp Lait burst through after a slip at the back of the Banbury defence but his shot was easy for Harding to push away and gather it.
A right sided corner from Beswick forced Harding to punch it away from under the bar on 40 and more positive play at the top of the pitch forced a corner on the left on 42.
Concannon spotted an opportunity from the edge of the box on 43 but lifted his shot over the target and Waite was pulled down on the left wing setting up Beswick with the freekick and it eventually fell to Kettle who struck a left footed effort on target but it was easy for Harding in the final action of the first half.
HT: TAMWORTH 3 0 BANBURY UNITED
Tamworth restarted proceedings in blustery conditions, and Waite was not selfish when he took the ball wide past the keeper but Dias and Clement were unable to forge a quick fourth goal.
A cheeky freekick from 25 yards onto the head of Iaciofano forced Singh into a low save on 54 and at the other end Magunda got forwards and laid it off for Lait who struck low and forced a corner via a defensive deflection before being replaced by Dwyer.
Dwyer was booked for a late challenge on the keeper 58 and at the other end Iaciofano forced a corner with a right footed shot off Kettle from the right of the box. Henderson headed the resulting flagkick but couldn’t keep it in play.
Waite pulled up and was replaced by Gordon on 66 and almost as if the job was already done, Tamworth failed to get the ball into the Banbury half until 74 when Clement’s run down the right forced a corner.
However, Beswick’s flag kick was met at the far post by a half volley from Clement and blocked by the covering defender and Clement came off on 77 for Maphosa.
On 81 a foul on Concannon set up Beswick in the right channel and Kettle got his head to the freekick but a Henderson took a knock in the play and required prolonged treatment on the field and couldn’t continue.
The Lambs added a fourth goal on 87 and it came from Beswick’s corner which Magunda struck back into the box from past the far post and it was turned home by Dywer, on his home debut (4-0, 87 mins)
Shamsi got into space on the right on 90 and forced Singh to bat the ball away for a corner which Maphosa defended strongly to prevent Banbury getting the ball and Shamsi then struck a powerful shot from 25 yards on target forcing Singh to tip it onto his cross bar and preserve the clean sheet, on 94 in the final action of the game before the whistle blew on another three points, lifting the Lambs to 10th in the league, 10 points off the play off places.
Singh, Shaw, Stabana, Beswick, Kettle (c.), Magunda, Concannon, Clement (Maphosa 77), Waite (Gordon 66), Dias, Lait (Dwyer 56)
Subs: Jemson, James
YC: Dwyer 58
Banbury United Team:
Harding, Taylor, Nash, Shamsi, Johnson, Iaciofano (MacDonald 62), Awadh, Henderson (Whitehead 85), Odihambo, Rasulo, Finch (Wise HT)
Subs: Anele, Heapy
Man of the Match: Gas Services Tamworth chose Chris Lait
Referee: Mr. A. Ellis