Stourbridge FC v Tamworth FC
After the midweek victory over bottom club Bedworth United, Tamworth travelled to the War Memorial Athletic Ground to face second placed Stourbridge for the 98th time in the club’s histories but the first meeting between the two sides in a league game since the 1996-97 season when Tamworth won the then Southern League Midland division.
The Glassboys featured former Lambs James Wren in goal, Callum Powell in midfield and Greg Mills up front, the latter enjoying a rich vein of form with 14 goals in 16 games.
Lambs boss Dennis Greene was forced to make a couple of changes to the starting eleven due to injury and two players made their debuts - Zak Lilly came straight in from Telford on loan while Fortune Maphosa stepped up into the starting eleven from the U21s.
Tamworth got the game underway but the home side came out of the box quickest.
Thompson-Brown hit a shot from 30 yards which forced Singh to tip it over his bar and from the corner Broadhurst headed against the far post.
The Glassboys continued to press and from a right sided cross Hayden glanced a header wide of the far post. After the initial early flurry Tamworth put a boot on the ball and looked for a way forwards too but the home side pushed up and tried to utilise the runs of Powell down the right.
Gough hit a hopeful shot from the left on 11 and it took a deflection for a corner and Lait found Verma but his header was cleared.
At the other end on 13 Powell struck a half volley on goal but it was blocked and cleared before it troubled Singh.
Stourbridge did find the back of the net on 16 though after good work from Forde on the right saw the ball whipped in and Mills finished at the far post (0-1, 16 mins)
A quick freekick found Lait on 18 and he curled it into the box for Green to run onto but his shot was high and wide of the target.
Clement threaded the ball through to Johnson on 24 but his shot was partially blocked by Brown and deflected back to Wren.
Benbow then tried his luck from the right of the box and it was taken by Singh and a freekick into the box gave Verma a header at goal but he couldn’t direct it past Wren.
Good footwork from Lait saw him try and flick the ball past Wren from 6 yards on 28 and it went past the keeper but Broadhurst slid in to prevent it crossing the line.
Green then tripped Mills as the number 11 made headway down the left on 34 and Thompson-Brown struck the freekick looking for Benbow but Singh punched it away from danger.
A foul by Verma on Mills on the left earned the Lambs player a talking to on 41 and Stourbridge did their best to build but The Lambs held strong.
However, Waite was booked for a tackle on Brown on 42 and Benbow went for goal from the dead ball but only managed to trouble the fans in the stand behind the goal with his strike.
HT: STOURBRIDGE 1 0 TAMWORTH
Stourbridge restarted proceedings and pushed forward quickly, but The Lambs put a foot in and forced a corner on the right on 50 after a spell of possession.
Lait’s rehearsed flagkick was nearly met by Waite’s volley but Stourbridge broke through Benbow and Powell until they got into the final third when four defenders got in the way to halt proceedings.
Tamworth strung a number of passes together before the final ball released Johnson into the box on 55 and he beat Wren with a fine finish from 10 yards out (1-1, 55 mins)
He was immediately replaced by Asante upfront but the next action was when Thompson-Brown rolled a pass to Powell on the right of the box and he shot low at Singh.
On the hour, Wait curled a low shot which bounced before Wren could smother it and a nudge in Asante’s back set up Lait with a freekick on the left of the D on 63 but the training ground freekick was struck straight into the wall and the rebound went wide of the mark.
A left sided freekick for the home side was headed high and out by Gough on 70 for a corner which fell to Hayden but his low poke was taken by Singh.
From the ensuing play Lait picked up the ball on the edge of Wren’s box and fired inches wide of the left hand post and he tried a similar shot again on 73 but it didn’t have enough pace to really trouble Wren.
A clash of heads between two Stourbridge players brought both sets of physios onto the field to assist in their recoveries on 77 and both were able to continue a couple of minutes later.
Green forced a corner with a blocked right wing cross on 80 ad it came to nothing.
Lait then broke over the halfway line and set Waite on a run into the box, but the defence got in his way and he cut back then fired wide of the near post.
Asante then picked up the ball in the box but was prevented from shooting by the last defender and the corner was taken by Wren.
Dunkley replaced Waite as the clock ticked into the 90th minute and a foul on the left wing gave Lait a freekick to put into the box and it was headed away.
Asante forced a corner on the left on 93 and it took a deflection of a Stourbridge defender to take it past the far post for another flagkick, on the right, and Verma’s header was denied by the chest of Birch and the whistle blew on a point a piece.
Singh, Green K. Gough, Clement, Lilly, Jemson, Waite (Dunkley 90), Verma, Johnson (Asante 55), Maphosa, Lait
Subs: Sharpe, Evans, Shaw C.
YC: Waite 42
Wren, Hayden, Brown, McCone (c.), Westlake, Forde (Birch 61), Powell, Broadhurst, Benbow (Anderson 69), Thompson-Brown, Mills (Steele 74)
Subs: Pierpoint, Maher
Man of the Match: Chris Lait
Referee: Mr. R. Eley