The Lamb was quite literally at fever pitch in the build up to the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round tie against The Magpies from the National League’s 9th placed side Notts County visiting and with a giant killing and £9000 prize money in mind.
Gary Smith, Andrew Danylyszyn and Thomas Baillie’s side had won 8 of their opening 12 games, and lost just 3, coming into the match on the back of a four game winning streak scoring 14 goals and conceding just 2 in the process.
With both sets of fans in good voice, County kicked off the game, with Tamworth attacking the sold out Meadow Street away end in the first half.
Kelly-Evans forced a right sided corner off the tackle of Wilder on 3 and The Tamworth defence coped well with the far post header from County captain Cameron.
Taylor drilled a clow cross in from the left and The Lambs defence had to deal with more forays forwards and forced a corner on the left which was headed behind way past the far post.
A cross field ball from Pendley on 8 fell to Waite and he forced a snap save from Patterson at his near post and then Singh was called into action off a drive from Rodrigues on 10.
Hart was brought down by Taylor as he tried to advance down the right, setting up Beswick with a dead ball 25 yards out on the right wing on 11, which he planted into the arms of Patterson.
A dipping shot from Roberts on 12 forced Singh to protect his goal and after a spell of Lambs possession, County countered down the right and both Riley and Wilder needed to be on their mettle to prevent the visitors.
Another cross from Taylor on 20 whipped across the box and Singh prevented Rodrigues again, this time with a dive to his left to push it around the post for a corner on 21.
Singh smothered the ball at his near post on 24 after a tricky run into the box from Taylor saw him go past his marker, and the same player hit a low tame shot on target on 26 after a partial clearance from Riley fell invitingly.
A niggly foul on Roberts 20 yards out in the left channel on 26 set up County with a freekick which Rodrigues slammed against the underside of the crossbar and in slammed down into the ground, out of the goal, before being cleared.
Hart then picked up a booking for a blatant rugby style tackle on Rodrigues as he tried to advance over the halfway line, but with plenty to do ahead of him, on 29.
A smart piece of continuous forward momentum nearly resulted in a snatched goal from Thomas on 33, but Patterson react very quickly when he advanced into the box and nearly took the dropping ball past the keeper, but the County custodian did enough to prevent him.
A freekick was awarded against County on the left corner of the box on 36, and Beswick stepped up to take it, left footed. The ball was headed out and Concannon struck it on the volley on the edge of the area but it went wide of the mark.
Roberts got on the end of a threaded pass from Francis on 41, and found Singh well placed with his low effort before a Tamworth advance ended with one time County man Waite striking a County defender with his drilled shot, a minute later.
Palmer shot from distance and cleared the target on 42 as the visitors looked to end the half on a high as one minute added time was shown.
Beswick was booked after another niggly challenge deep into injury time before the half time whistle blew.
Tamworth restarted the action with the sun dropping behind the Castle End, which they were now attacking, which they did from the kick off.
Waite forced a corner on the left on 47 after a darting run into the box and Concannon’s flagkick was headed away but Tamworth kept pressing and Waite forced another corner on the same side on 48 which Patterson leapt to gather at height.
County responded and a mix up at the back handed them a corner on the left on 50, although Cameron needed treatment prior to taking the kick for a knock in the previous play.
The Lambs dealt with the corner and Singh was not troubled by Mitchell’s grass cutter shot.
When Thomas was pulled down by Brennan in front of the clubhouse it set up Beswick with the freekick which was blocked.
Rodrigues forced Singh to drop and smother his right sided low cross on 54 with a couple of Magpies ready to pounce, and on 57 Nemane struck right footed from 18 yards but his rising effort was simple for Singh to catch
Palmer found Nemane with a pass through the back line on the hour, only to see his cross go very long and cleared by Waite, and then the same player pulled it back for Palmer in the ensuing play, who drilled a shot wide of the mark from 18 yards.
Singh pulled off a fine save from Roberts diagonal shot from the right on 62, to push the ball past the far post for a County corner, and the Lambs keeper made sure he got both hands to the resultant flag kick.
Rodrigues found space to drilled a cross in from the right again on 63 with Mitchell bearing down on Singh, but once again the keeper was first to it.
Waite picked the ball up unexpectedly on 69 when Kelly-Evans missed his clearance and his quick cross was too long but Concannon raced onto it and tried to forge a Lambs attack, which unfortunately was snuffed out by the County defence.
The visitors were awarded a freekick on the right on 71 and Singh dropped to prevent any chance of a County finish, and Riley did likewise from a Taylor cross from the left on 72.
Walters replaced Concannon on 73, before Rodrigues went for glory with a left footed drive from 25 yards which rose over the bar and into the Meadow Street end on 75.
Walters cut in and struck a shot at Patterson on 77 as Tamworth pushed upfield, but play had to be stopped when Wilder upended Brennan in his own area on 78.
As the clock ran into the final ten minutes, chatter was starting to mention a replay on Tuesday night, but there was a definite chance of a positive result on the day, and Walters and Thomas nearly threaded the ball through the County back line.
At the other end though, Wilder was forced to concede a corner and Rodrigues went up high with Beswick and put the ball way off target from a couple of yards out.
Riley escaped a penalty call against Rodrigues on 86 as the referee pointed to a few inches outside the area rather than the spot, and the same player struck the deal ball and the wall did its job before Creaney booted it clear.
Creaney and Sam tangled on the half way line on 88 which saw Rodrigues booked for involvement after the event and the entire Lamb started to regularly check it’s watch.
Four minutes added time was shown at the end of the game, as The Shed continued to sing it’s heart out, and the Lambs players continued to hold strong.
Then, Walters chased the ball down the right and forced a corner which Beswick tried to plant onto the head of Pendley but it was cleared and County countered quickly with Sam free in the box, but Forde scuppered his shot and County took the left sided corner, which Pendley cleared acrobatically downfield and the referee blew time on the match and heralded a replay at Meadow Lane.
Singh, Hart, Wilder, Beswick (capt.), Pendley, Riley, Concannon (Walters 73), Forde, Creaney Thomas, Waite (Clement 93)
Subs: Taylor, Tait, Cox, Birch, Cockerill-Mollett
YC: Hart, Beswick
Patterson, Taylor, Cameron (capt.), Brennan, Kelly-Evans, Frncis, Palmer, Mitchell (Wooton 65), Roberts (Sam 81), Nemane, Da Rocha Rodrigues
Subs: Kean, Brindley, Rawlinson, Chicksen, Vincent
YC: Palmer, Rodrigues
Referee: Mr. Richard Aspinall