Tamworth  v  Alvechurch

Sat 12 Feb - 15:00 Southern League Premier Central






Match Report

Matchday 38:
After the defeat to Stourbridge heralded managerial departures at The Lamb, Tamworth FC Academy coaches Scott Rickards and Robbie Banks lead the side out as interim managers against Alvechurch at the CR MOT Community Stadium.

Of course, Scott Rickards is name not unknown to Lambs fans having plied his trade at the club as a youngster in the early 2000s, featuring in the FA Trophy Final side that took the club to Villa Park and with interviews proceeding in the background to find a permanent replacement, the duo of Banks and Rickards were under no pressure against the 5th placed visitors.

It was the 18th time the two sides had met with The Lambs holding the edge having won 10 of the previous 17 encounters to the visitors 5, with 33 goals for and 16 goals against since the first meeting in 1978. Alvechurch won the away league fixture at Lye Meadow 2-1 in early December, but the Lambs would hoping for a repeat of the 3-1 FA Cup victory recorded in early September.

The Lambs squad were without a few faces through injury - Alex Jones, Dan Bradley, Ben Hart, and Jordaan Brown. Meanwhile Ahmed Obeng had chosen to leave the club and Lucas Yeomans was out on trial at a Football League club.
So, after a couple of intensive and productive midweek training sessions, there were six changes to the starting eleven that ran out at the War Memorial Athletic Ground including a full debut for Shaq Whittingham.

Alvechurch got the game underway with Tamworth attacking the Meadow Street End in the first half.
And it was The Lambs who had the first shot on target through McKeown’s powerful low strike at former Lambs keeper Jezeph, who parried the effort away.
Creaney received the ball via a pinpoint threaded pass from Beswick on 7, but the offside flag denied him a goalscoring opportunity, and McKeown was halted on the edge of the area after a strong solo run to the edge of the box on 10.
Hallahan was able to set up a freekick oh the right on 12 but Tamworth defended strongly and countered, with the ball falling to McKeown again on the right and he attempted a long range lob of Jezeph that dropped just past the far post.
Hurst made light work down the right and smashed a right footed shot into the side netting on 15 as Tamworth continued to look the better side.
Alvechurch applied themselves a little more than in the first 15 minutes and frustrated The Lambs for the next 10 minutes, and on 24 Hallanah struck from distance but cleared the target before McKeown could get treatment on the field for an injury that hadn’t required the referee to stop play.
When play restarted Cockeriill-Mollett nearly opened the scoring with a right footed strike from the edge of the box that saw Jezeph in full flight as it whistled past his far post, and McKeown was unable to continue, so Tamworth made a change – bringing Walters into the game.
The stalemate continued as the minutes ticked by and on 40, Alvechurch forced a corner on the right which they played short and Forde put it behind for another which fell to one time Lamb Carter who half volleyed over the crossbar.
At the other end, Tamworth forced a right sided flagkick on 42 which Beswick took and it came out to Cockerill-Mollett but his volley from the ball dropping on high was wayward.
Alvechurch’s Hurst whipped the ball dangerously across the six yard box as three minutes added time was shown at the end of the half.
Mansell needed treatment for a blood injury off the field as the seconds ticked away and after he returned to the field, there was just enough time for a visitors corner on the right which caused some problems in the box before the referee blew the whistle.

HT 0-0

As the floodlights came on and the cold wind continued to bite Tamworth restarted proceedings but it was Alvechurch who had the first attempt on 47 when McLintock curled a shot form the left of the box towards the top right corner and forced Singh into a one handed save.
Whittingham tried to get a cross in from the right on 49 but it was blocked for a corner and Jezeph eventually got the ball into his hands from a Hurst ball back into the area.
On 54, Hallahan whipped the ball into the box and Nesbitt headed it towards goal bringing a save from Singh, who tipped it over the bar for a corner and The Lambs defence cleared the danger from the flagkick.
Wilder was booked for pulling back Hallahan as he advanced over the halfway line on 57 and there was more blocking, but from an Alvechurch perspective when Hurst floated the all into the box for Creaney to loop a head for Whittingham but his finish at the near post was blocked by Jezeph. The corner was half cleared as far as Walters, and his driven on target liw shot was blocked and cleared.
However, the visitors took the lead on 64 when Hurst was unable to track back, leaving Clayton-Phillips time and space to attack the Lambs right back position and pull it back for McLintock to rifle home from 18 yards (0-1, 64 mins)
It looked like Creaney had been brought down in the opposition box on 67 but the referee was having none of it and play continued despite shouts otherwise.
Mansell found space on the right of the box on 73 and shot over Singh’s goal with a right footed effort, before Forde was booked.
Both sides made a change for the final 15 or so minutes and both sides tried to push on, with Tamworth shading it on possession and ball in the opposition half, until a stop in play was necessary when Cox took a blow to the head and needed treatment before returning to the pitch.
Tahra was subjected to a lot of shirt pulling in front of the shed on 83 and awarded a freekick against the Alvechurch players, as The Lambs continued to battle and push on but a ball in from Whittingham was headed away.
A teasing run and cross from Whittingam forced a left sided corner when the Alvechurch defence put it behind just wide of the far post on 89.
And The Lambs continued to press into added time and when the ball came out to Clement around 20 yards out he struck sweetly past Jezeph to level the tie (1-1, 92 mins)
Hallahan tried a low shot at Singh in the final seconds before the final whistle blew on a deserved point for the team and the interim bosses.

Singh, Hurst, Wilder, Beswick (c.) (Tahra 76), Cox, Bailey, Cockerill-Mollett (Clement HT), Forde, Creaney, Whittingham, McKeown (Walters 28)
Subs: Concannon, Thomas

YC: Wilder 57, Forde 73

Jezeph, Mansell, Sephton, Hallahan, Willets (c.), Carter, McLintock, Brown, Nesbitt (Waldron 65), Clayton-Phillips (Phillips 90), Hurst (Cassidy 74)
Subs: Patterson, Turton

YC: McLintock 51

Referee: Mr L. Scott

Attendance: 608

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