Redditch United  v  Tamworth

Sat 22 Apr - 15:00 Southern League Premier Central

Redditch United

Redditch United

0-3

Tamworth

Tamworth

Match Report

And so to the final day of the regular league season…..

Following Thursday night's 3-0 victory over Nuneaton Borough played behind closed doors at The Lamb, Tamworth fans travelled en masse to 4,000 capacity The Valley Stadium in the knowledge that a win, and a better scoreline than Coaville, at home to Stourbridge (or all other permutations or draws and losses), would see them crowned as champions of the Southern League Premier Central Division for 2022-23 - no pressure then!

Andy Peaks made one change to the side that breezed past their A5 rivals less than 48 hours prior to kick-off at Redditch with Luke Fairlamb returning to the side as Eoin McKeown sat out through injury.

The Lambs fans were camped over three sides of the home ground, and were in fine voice as the Reds of Redditch got the game underway, as Tamworth in their blue away kit attacked the terraced end in the first half.
A long throw from the left found the head of Collard inside the first minute but deflected behind for Harrison to restart play with a goal kick, and news filtered through that Coaville had taken the lead.
Jellis whipped the ball in from the right win on 5 and it was punched away by Harrison and there was a stoppage in play when Mensah Jnr was caught by Willets boot and Redditch showed they would be no ease push over as King advanced down the left and forced Tamworth to defend their lines.
A ball up to Creaney on 10 allowed him to flick it on to Deacon but a foul by the latter denied him a one on one with Harrison and the chance was lost.
Former Lamb Riley was then penalised for handball on 11 to set up Finn with the freekick in the right channel midway towards Redditch’s goal but it was too strong for Collard at the back of the box.
Deacon had a half chance on 14 but the ball ran away from him after his touched it past the last defender on the left of the area, and Hart’s ball for Creaney on 15 curled nicely but the striker was prevented from getting to it by home captain Bryne.
Fairlamb took the ball from Jellis’ cross field pass into the left and forced a corner on 17 which Hart saw punched away but it was played back in and Collard’s header struck the bar before falling perfectly for Deacon to rifle home from a yard or two out to the delight of the travelling faithful as Tamworth retook the top spot after a 16 minute hiatus (0-1, 17 mins).
Fairlamb drilled the ball into Creaney on 20 but his back heel towards goal was blocked by his marker, and then a shout for handball was waved away by the referee as The Lambs went in search of a second goal.
Finn was penalised for a foul on Byrne in the centre circle on 25 and the referee asked Lambs captain Collard to have a word too, and Redditch restarted play keeping hold of the ball and eventually forcing Singh into a low stop from Mensah and Coalville scored again to reduce the goal difference to just 1 in The Lambs favour.
Finn and Deacon saw shots inside the area blocked on the half hour and a corner resulted from the final effort off the former but Hart’s long corner was too much for Willets to get back into the danger area.
At the other end on 32, the other former Lamb on the home side, Soleman was fouled just outside the D and as Jellis needed treatment Flanagan lined up the deadball but it struck the wall and Meikle disrupted play.
The Lambs continued to find Redditch in no mood to give them an easy time, but a foul on Fairlamb on the left wing gave Hart another freekick which was cleared, but Hart was brought down by Soleman in a similar position and got another bite of the cherry, however it strike went into the side netting with Harrison diving at full length towards the near post.
Singh’s ball into the final third came back to Jellis, and he looked for Deacon’s run in the box but the offside flag prevented him from creating anything, but in the next move Fairlamb planted the ball into the center of the box and Finn perfectly diverted it past Harrison into the far corner to restore the 2 goal advantage (0-2, 42 mins) and Creaney went through one on one with Harrison on 43 but found the keeper on top form to deny his powerful strike as Coaville bagged another to take it back to just the one goal.
Three minutes added time were shown at the end of the half, and Finn closed Harrison down from a defensive header forcing the keeper to fumble but the referee spotted a foul which prevented Creaney closing down the loose ball.
And in the final action of the half Creaney played the ball over his head onto the head of Deacon who head

HT 0-2

The Lambs got the game back underway, kicking towards the Tamworth fans end and a pull on Creaney’s shirt by Riley set up Finn with the freekick but he sent it high over the hoardings behind the narrow terrace.
On 49 Sheaf got the better of Cockerill-Mollett and angled a shot from the right corner of the box past Singh but thankfully also out past the far post by a yard in a wake up call for The Lambs.
Then on 51, Creaney flicked it to Deacon who in turn found Finn but his low side footed shot, as the Tamworth fans got ready to celebrate, went out in similar fashion .
But there was no mistake from Jellis on 52 who drilled a powerful right footed shot from the left channel straight through Harrison and into the back of the net (0-3, 52 mins) and shortly afterwards Stourbridge pulled one back at Coalville to aid the increasing volume from the terraces at The Valley.
A deep Hart freekick on 58 was met well by Collard in the right of the box but Harrison plucked it out of the air, then Fairlamb was booked for a late challenge on Sheaf down the right wing.
Sheaf’s dead ball looked for the leaping headers of two of his teammates, but was too high and allowed Tamworth to play on, although a foul on Fairlamb by Gregson saw him go into the book too.
There were strong shouts for a penalty when Deacon appeared to be scythed down on 69 after Creaney’s initial shot had been blocked and set up nicely for his teammate, but there was no spot kick awarded, and Deacon needed treatment on the field before play could continue.
Another deep ball into the box from Hart on 72 found Creaney and Collard in the right position but surrounded by Reds and neither could test Harrison with a header.
Cockerill-Mollett was tripped as his through ball ran for Deacon, but when there was no advantage the freekick was awarded and Creaney just couldn’t pull it back into the box from the by-line.
Fairlamb then needed a visit from the magic sponge and was replaced by Cater.
Sullivan was booked for a hefty tackle on Collard with 10 to go, and Curley replaced Finn as the minutes ticked down.
A minute before being substituted by Jones, ball through to Creaney almost rounded things off perfectly on 87 but his strike on the half volley rebounded off the cross bar and back out and he left the field to rapturous applause.
The Lambs mounted an attack and Cater forced a corner which was punched away as added time came and four minutes were shown.
A later freekick for Redditch was cleared by Jellis and Jones, and the final whistle blew on a fantastic achievement by Andy Peaks and his squad supported by the immense fans who have followed the side home and away through (mainly) thick and (occasionally) thin.

Redditch United
Harrison, Hudson, Byrne (c.), Wollacott, Flanagan, King (O’Sullivan 58) , Mensah Jnr, Gregson, Soleman (Richards HT), Sheaf, Riley (Smith 69)
Subs: Cashmore, McDonald
YC: Gregson 66, O’Sullivan 80

Tamworth
Singh, Hart, Cockerill-Mollett, Meikle, Willets, Collard (c.), Finn (Curley 81), Jellis, Creaney (Jones 87), Deacon, Fairlamb (Cater 75)
Subs: Dolman, Mussa
YC: Fairlamb 66

Referee: Mr. Williams
Assistants: Mr. Cartwright & Mr. Strumidlo

Att: 1942

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