The Lambs returned to Southern Premier Football League action which took the side to Kirby Road to take on Barwell who played their first home game of the season on their brand new 3G surface.
The Lambs came to the fixture having never lost to their hosts home or away, with 4 wins and 1 draw over the previous five meetings as the line-up returned to a semblance of normality after a couple of cup fixtures with Orrin Pendley returning from injury and new signing Alex Jones taking a place on the bench as Dan Creaney remained sidelined due to injury, and Ben Hart sat out after his clash of heads the previous weekend.
For the visitors, former Tamworth boss Marcus Law assisted The Canaries boss Guy Hadland in a side that featured former Lambs Kyron Stabana at right back and Tristan Dunkley on left midfield.
A good crowd of over 500 turned out to welcome both sides to the field and Barwell got the game underway, with Tamworth attacking the Indoor Bowling Club End of the ground in the first half but it was the home side who had the first real chance when Hickey curled a shot from 18 yards towards the left hand post and Singh pulled off a one handed save to deny him.
Stabana tried his luck from the right channel on 5 and only cleared the bar by a couple of inches, as Barwell looked the more comfortable moving the ball around on the new pitch.
McDonald looked like he was through with a sight on target on 10 but the flag denied his run and shot at Castle in the home goal.
Stabana forced a corner with a deflection off Wilder on 15 and in the move following the flagkick, Stephens fired low at Singh who was happy to drop and smother his effort without much trouble and Wilder nearly turned provider with a left sided centre aiming for Taylor on 18 but it was just too far away from him to turn it home.
After a game of triangles out of midfield, Shaw nearly opened the scoring with a cheeky lob into the top left ‘bin’ on 23, but Castle was able to tip the ball out for a corner, which was too long, but The Lambs continued to press their hosts back and a foul on McDonald set up Beswick with a deadball 25 yards out, in a central position but his low strike was dealt with by Castle.
Another Beswick freekick from a similar position on 28 ended with a similar result, and at the other end Stephen blasted the ball at Pendley earning a corner in the process.
Yeomans was booked for pulling back Dunkley as he tried to advance out of midfield on 33, and from the freekick Barwell pushed forwards and made their presence felt, forcing a corner in the process.
With only one goal in all of the other league fixtures as the first half entered the final ten minutes, there was no surprise that it remained goalless at Kirby Road.
A superb Yeomans ball, fully 40 yards in length, down the right found Taylor in a good position on 41 and he took the ball well but couldn’t get enough height on his attempted lob over Castle to break the deadlock and the Canaries keeper was equal to a far post attempted finish from Shaw on 43.
Taylor needed some treatment as the first half drew to a close but was OK to continue but despite a last push up field and a sprayed ball to McDonald, he was unable to convert the chance and the half ended goalless.
Tamworth restarted proceedings in increasingly blustery conditions, with the rain swirling around the floodlights and both sides had chances in the early exchanges. Dunkley fired high over the target from the left of the box on 47 and the Wilder got his head to a low cross but couldn’t keep the ball down and it looped over the bar without troubling Castle.
Taylor fell in the area under a hefty challenge on 55 but the referee was not swayed by the shouts on the field and from the travelling faithful on the terraces, and Beswick shepherded the ball back to Singh on 57 as Bower tried to go past him.
On the hour, Stephens prodded the ball wide of the mark in one of the better chances for either side and in response Tamworth made two changes, introducing Forde and Jones for the final half hour.
The Lambs seemed to have woken up with the changes, and on 62 Shaw’s powerful strike cannoned back of the Barwell defender with such force it sounded like a firework had gone off!
Brown-Hill was booked for a challenge on Wilder on 67 as the home side appeared to be starting to push Tamworth back as a header from Dunkley dropped over the top of the net.
Shaw got his foot around the ball to force Castle into a regulation save on 69 and Wilder went down under the challenge of Stabana on 70 but no penalty was indicated.
Pendley then got his body in the way of a thumping shot from Bower from the right of the box as it became increasingly difficult to determine the most likely of the two sides to score first, if at all.
Wilder worked his way through down the left on 80 and drilled int ball into the middle of the area for Jones who made contact with the ball but it was blocked on route to a debut goal, and Barwell threatened from the counter attack but Dunkley’s chip from the left of the area over Singh was into no man’s land and cleared by the Tamworth defence.
A foul on Shaw after playing a 1-2 with Beswick on 85 set up the latter with a freekick which allowed Tamworth press and when Shaw put the ball into the area from the right, Waite was beaten to it as Barwell conceded the corner. Beswick’s corner caused problems and Castle had to catch it under his bar, while at the other end Pepe-Ngoma struck left footed after good play from Nisevic,but couldn’t get his shot on target from the left of the area.
A foul on Waite on 89 on the Lambs left set up Beswick with a last minute deadball and it was floated into the box for Waite to power a header into the floor and beat Castle low to his left (1-0, 89 mins)
A nervous five minutes added time came and quickly passed and The Lambs duly celebrated a very hard earned three points.
Singh, Yeomans (Forde 60), Wilder, Beswick (c.), Pendley, Cox, McDonald, Shaw, Taylor (Jones 60), Thomas, Waite
Subs: Riley, Tait, Cockerill-Mollett
YC: Yeomans 33
Castle, Stabana, Percival (Nisevic 77), Pep-Ngoma, Brown, Edjenguele, Bower, Brown-Hill, Dunkley, Hickey (c.), Stephens
Subs: Browne, Oulton, Powell, Warren
YC: Brown-Hill 67
Referee: Mr. Edey