On a cold November evening and on the back of Saturday’s long haul away defeat to Needham Market, and just before a run of three away games, The Lambs returned home briefly to the CR MOT Community Stadium to welcome The Bards for the next Southern League Premier Central fixture.
The Lambs management trio made three changes to the side that ran out against the Marketmen, with Callum Cockerill-Mollett ruled out through injury, while Tyrell Waite and Chris Cox took a place on the bench as Jordaan Brown, Jack Thomas and Shaq McDonald all started in a slight change to formation from the weekend.
Meanwhile the Stratford side of the 3G pitch, managed by Paul Davis, featured a number of familiar names in their squad and featured Joe Magunda and Mikey Taylor in the line up with Ahmed Obeng on the bench, but came into the game on the back of six straight defeats.
The Lambs kicked off the game attacking the Castle End in the first half and they went on the attack with Forde rifling a shot off a defender inside 30 seconds for a corner on the right which was cleared via a hefty defensive boot.
Brown was booked for a foul on Dawes on the Stratford right wing on 4 and Tamworth cleared their lines effectively.
Wilder advanced down the left on 8 and put a low cross in which O’Brien smothered at his near post, but there appeared to have been a push on the Lambs defender which went unpunished and raised a few eyebrows and voices in the Shed after the event.
Play continued at a quick pace between the boxes and Taylor looked spritely for the opposition as he tried to get the ball to teammates in the box but a foul by Davies on the left wing set up Beswick with a deadball on 20 which eventually bounced invitingly for McDonald but he lifted his half volley high over the target and onto the road behind the terrace.
And on 23 Concannon’s cross was turned behind for another corner on the right, which Beswick struck and it looked like it was heading for Pendley but was just too high for him at the far post and the ball went out for a goalkick.
More positive play mainly involving Yeomans and Forde resulted in a central freekick for Beswick which whistled just a foot or so wide of the right hand upright.
Concannon threaded a ball through the right wing on 33 but Yeomans ws unable to connect, then at the other end Taylor picked up the ball on the right of the box and forced Singh into a one handed stop to deny him and the ball went of for a corner. Which was cleared by the head of Brown at the far post.
Taylor worked his way through the back again on 38 but was prevented a strike on target by a flag after the linesman spotted a shirt tug and halted play.
Storer fired low from the right, wide of the left hand post on 44 in the final action of the goalless first half.
Stratford restarted the game but Tamworth quickly won possession and went on the attack with McDonald firing a tame shot at O’Brien in the opening minutes.
And the same player struck a powerful effort from a similar position on 53 but it cannoned back off the crossbar and Stratford defended the rebound.
Concannon fed Beswick with a ball to feet in eth area in the next move but his shot, Jones’ follow up and Forde’s attempt were all blocked in the box however, The Lambs fell behind in the counter attacked after Taylor passed wide to captain Grocutt and he curled his shot into the far right corner over the despairing dive of Singh (0-1, 57 mins)
Taylor had picked up a knock in the play and had to be replaced, and after Concannon had fired over from the edge of the area, The Lambs made two changes.
Tamworth pressed but could not find a way through or their shooting boots off target, although on 78 Jones got a sight of the target but O’Brien prevent his equaliser with a flick of his boot and then Stratford doubled their lead via James’ close range knock home on 82 (0-2, 82 mins)
A foul on Jones on the edge of the D on 85 gave Jones a chance with the deadball but failed to get his attempt on target, while Williams struck the top of the Lambs crossbar from a right sided lob into the box on 88.
Magunda upended Waite on the left of the area in added time and Beswick’s freekick was headed away and there was just time for one fomore substitution and a foray forward by the visitors before the final whistle blew on both a third consecutive league defeat and a third consecutive goalless run out, ahead of FA Trophy 2nd Round action away at Radcliffe on Saturday,
Singh, Yeomans, Wilder, Beswick, Pendley, Brown, McDonald, Forde, Jones, Thomas (Shaw 62), Concannon (Waite 62)
Subs: Riley, Cox, Fallows
YC: Brown 4, Pendley 81
O’Brien, Vann, Magunda, Williams, Lafferty, Storer (Obeng 89), Grocutt (c.), Sammons, Taylor (James 58), Wilson, Dawes (Wakefield 90+)
Subs: Beresford, Chambers
Referee: Mr. Wesson