Tamworth, of the newly announced Pitching In Southern League Premier Central, welcomed the Gladiators of the Pitching In Northern Premier League from Causeway Lane to The Lamb.
Both sides fielded a number of trialists although The Lambs trialists were now almost regular fixtures in the pre-season line-ups as Tamworth continued to tweak the side ahead of the season kick off in a fortnight’s time.
The visitors got he game underway with The Lambs attacking the away end in the first half. Both sides started brightly, with Tamworth having the lions share of possession and a trialist cross forced a corner on the right on 5.
Beswick fired it in and it as headed behind for another on the left which Forde drove towards the near post.
It was cleared and went back to Forde who curled it onto the head of Yafai and it nearly sneak in at the far post with the visiting keeper beaten (and without identifying the trialist, it’s safe to say it wouldn’t have been the first time in his career he’d been beaten at The Lamb)
The visitors made a change on 15 after injury forced Chippendale off the field and on 25 no. 9 was unable to continue so Waite replaced him.
McDonald was unceremoniously upended on the way through to the edge of the box so Beswick lined up the deadball, struck it sweetly and watched as it landed on top of the net with the keeper beaten. Forde recovered an uncharacteristically short pass from Magunda to save the Lambs defenders blushes as the Matlock man looked to burst through, and as play continued, Wilder seemed to have released McDonald but the offside flag halted play.
A left sided freekick for the visitors was awarded on 32 and the deadball from Byrne went over Singh and bounced out of play past the far post.
Matlock then forced a brace of corners on 34 and were unsuccessful on both attempts to cause problems in the box.
Tamworth tried to regain control of the game, and with the ball stuck in the middle of the park Byrne bore the brunt of the ball and needed treatment before continuing.
Matlock’s trialist keeper was unable to punch Forde’s right sided cross away from danger and as McDonald looked for a 42nd minute opener from the bouncing rebound, the referee spotted an infringement and play halted.
Gladiator captain Hughes was brought down by Magunda in the left channel on 44 but the result8ing freekick was high and wide of the mark, and when play resumed Forde looked to release Wilder down the left with a long ball but it skipped away from the latter before he could stop it reaching the touchline.
McDonald went close to connecting to a through ball in added time, and then Hughes went down under a challenge again at the other end but Byrne was unable to test Singh once again, before the whistle blew.
After making a change at half time, The Lambs restarted the game and nearly took the lead but a header from Waite whistled just wide of the mark.
At the other end a mistake by Rowe-Turner allowed Byrne to steal in and strike for goal but he should have passed to his teammate who had a clear strike at Singh.
Instead Byrne’s low shot was easily taken by the keeper.
A good pass to Waite allowed the sub to make headway into the right of the box on 52 and his strike was gathered by the Matlock keeper ta the near post.
On 56 a ball into the box was not cleared by trialist no. 2 and Byrne took advantage, scuffing his shot past Singh and inside the post (0-1, 54 mins)
Forde netted on 56 but it was ruled out for a high boot in the build up which had allowed the Tamworth man to take the ball down and into the box before slamming it home from the right of the area.
Wilder was brought down by Yates who was booked for his efforts, and the both Waite and Beswick went close but the keeper was equal to both of their strikes. Byrne flashed a shot across the box from the right on 68 after a purposeful move down the left and switched play.
Then, on 69, a short pass by Forde allowed the Matlock subs to burst forwards and a short pass forced Singh into action to deny a goalbound effort which he pushed wide of the mark.
Beswick struck from 25 yards after Yafai held the ball up well but his shot cleared the target, and after two changes, Walters forced the keeper to tip the ball over the bar with a long range shot.
A foul on Walters set up Beswick with the deadball on 75 and Cullinane-Liburd headed it towards goal, but it was easy for the keeper. Tamworth made two more changes s the final 10 minutes came into view and on 84 Waite was brought down under a soft challenge resulting in a Forde strike from open play for a corner on the right.
It came to nothing, but a long throw from Tonks caused problems, and then a strike from Walters caught the Matlock man square on and sent him to the floor. Another Tonks throw flew into the area on 88 and Gough glanced his header wide of the far post.
Gough was involved again in added time picking up the scraps of Walters deflected shot to drive at goal from the left, but the keeper was on hand to pull off a great block to deny him.
Singh, trialist (Bateman 85), Wilder (Gough 79), Beswick (Tonks 79), Magunda, Rowe-Turner (Cullinane-Liburd 72), Meikle, Forde, trialist (Waite 25), Yafai (Walters 72), McDonald (trialist HT)
Matlock Town Team:
Trialist, Yates, Turner, Qualter, Egerton, Lees (Coveney 78), Walker, trialist (Ellis 54), Hughes (trialist 66), Chippendale (Byrne 15), Dolan (Coppin 51)
Subs: all used
Attendance: not announced
Referee: Mr. J. Hackett