In the first M6 trip to an away game since April 2018 when The Lambs faced Stockport County at Edgeley Park, Tamworth returned to FA Trophy action with a 1st Round trip to Colne, of the Northern Premier League, at their Holt House ground.
As with all rounds to the Semi Final, if scores were level at full time the game would be decided, as it was at Spalding a fortnight previously, by kicks from the penalty mark.
Just to confuse matters, the home side, nicknamed The Red Army, took to the field in their white kit, meaning The Lambs were playing in their red home kit, and The Lambs elected to play with the sun at their backs in the first half.
There were a number of changes to the side that ran out at Bromsgrove in midweek most notably with Alex Jones starting his first game up front, while captain Ryan Beswick took a place on the bench.
With £3000 on offer to the winners, Colne got the game underway and quickly pressed up the slope forcing Pendley to boot the ball away on the left but the ball was quickly down the other end with Shaw feeding Tait who forced a corner on the left which Burton punched away while leaping through a crowded box.
Ing received the ball in the box and set up Webb-Foster who struck right footed from the edge of the box on 5 and forced Singh into a reaction save to deny the opening goal as the home side.
A defensive clearance put the ball somewhere into the outlying land around the ground on 9, and the resulting long throw fell for Tait who’s shot was blocked for a corner.
After the initial flurry of goalmouth intention in the opening 10 minutes, the game flattened a little as both sides struggled to get into the final thirds, but on 18, Waite’s left footed cross from the right forced Burton to come out and take it before he was under pressure from Tait.
Dugdale found space on the left channel to take a ball to his feet on 22 but lifted his shot over the corner of bar and post and after a foul by Jones on the half way line Colne took the ball up field and into the Lambs danger areas and a long throw from the right on 25 was punched away by Singh and Taylor tried to follow up but scuffed his shot from 18 yards.
In the play that followed Hasler-Cregg pulled up holding his hamstring and after an enforced substitution, Colne continued to press with Tait upending Webb-Foster on the right corner on the Lambs box on 31. Roberts deadball was blocked by Forde, but The Lambs were unable to clear their lines and a freekick by the touchline was headed away by Riley and then Forde.
A long ball from Singh for Waite didn’t come off and Lawler just managed to clear the ball from the halfway line as Tait looked to nick it past the last man, but Colne responded again and Wilder conceded a corner on the right which was headed on and tipped over the bar by Singh.
The resulting corner was only half cleared by Thomas, and Williams struck right footed over the covered terrace of the Nigel Coates stand behind the goal.
Another long throw from Pugh on 41 caused problems in the Lambs penalty area but a push halted play as it bounced past everyone and the gaping goalmouth.
Thomas was tripped on the left of the Colne box on 42 setting him up with the freekick but it came to nothing, was cleared and Tamworth were forced to try and build from the back again.
Jones did manage to get a sight on goal on 45 but his shot whistled wide of the mark as the first half entered added time and ended goalless.
With the sun having now dropped behind the goal, and the floodlights starting to take over from daylight, The Lambs restarted the game, and pressed for the opening minutes, forcing a corner via a Forde to Jones freekick on 49.
From Tait’s cross from the left on 50, Riley saw his shot from the right of the area blocked but Singh was put under pressure when defensive back passes caused him to think quickly and get the ball out from under his feet or punch it away from danger from a teasing ball into the area.
Thomas was unable to get his right footed strike on target by virtue of a defensive block on 54 and a Colne corner on the left was dealt with by The Lambs defence as the game continued to be very much a midfield battle.
But a massive opening came on 60 when Pendley’s pass from the right was waywards and allowed a short Colne midfield pass to Ing to release him and go through on goal, but with Singh exposed and a few yards out his shot from 20 yards went past the keeper but also the right hand upright to give The Lambs a let off and a bit of a wake up call.
On 62 Williams and Webb-Foster combined with neat 1-2 into the box and although the former went down under a challenge before he could shoot, the penalty appeal was waved away by the referee and Taylor forced Singh into a regulation stop with a left sided shot on target on 64.
A low ball through from the left on 71 nearly allowed Williams and / or Roberts a sight on goal but Tamworth defended strongly and Shaw was replaced by Beswick with 17 to go.
On 76, Cox brought down Webb-Foster on the left channel handing Colne a freekick just outside the area, and Taylor smashed the deadball over and around the wall and into the back of the net, with Singh unable to do anything about it (0-1, 77 mins)
The Lambs responded quickly though when Beswick played the ball through to Waite in the left of the are and he flicked it past the despairing dive of Burton, with a deft touch (1-1, 79 mins)
Pugh upended Forde on 80 and after the referee sorted things out and showed Pugh a yellow card Beswick lined up the freekick from 25 yards out, but despite getting two bites of the cherry his effort went low and wide.
At the other end a deep freekick was only half cleared and the pressure ended when Winstanley struck over the bar from distance.
The Lambs responded but Waite nor Tait could get their foot around the ball from the right on 86 and it went behind for a goal kick before reaching the near post.
Jones then put the ball in the net on 89 but play had been stopped for a push on Pendley his deep ball into the box and from the freekick Tait and Jones worked to get a shot away which the latter achieved, but struck the hoardings above the goalmouth from the left of the area.
Five minutes added time were shown at the end of the game and Pugh’s lofted left sided cross had to be dealt with by Singh as The Lambs pushed on but the minutes ticked by and the clock ran down to a shootout to decide the winner.
Penalties taken at the ‘bottom end’ of the ground:
1: Tamworth – Beswick scored / Colne – Webb-Foster scored // 1-1
2: Tamworth – Jones scored / Colne – Roberts scored // 2-2
3: Tamworth – Thomas scored / Colne – Ing hit left hand post // 3-2
4: Tamworth – Tait saved by Burton / Colne – Taylor scored // 3-3
5: Tamworth – Forde scored / Colne – Pugh saved by Singh // 4-3
And so Singh's safe hands put The Lambs into the next round of the FA Trophy.
Singh, Cox, Wilder, Forde, Pendley, Riley, Waite, Shaw (Beswick 73), Jones, Thomas, Tait
Subs: Howkins, McDonald, Cockerill-Mollett, Clement, Creaney, Fallows
YC: Forde, Pendley
Burton, Cannon-Nolen, Dugdale, Winstanley, Lawlor, Taylor, Williams, Pugh, Ing, Webb-Foster, Hasler-Cregg (Roberts 27)
Subs (4 only): Dodds, O’Halloran, Thorpe
YC: Williams 48, Pugh 81
Referee: Mr. Taylor