Tamworth  v  Alvechurch

Mon 2 Jan - 14:00 Southern League Premier Central






Match Report

Andy Peaks’ Lambs top of the table squad started 2023 with a home tie against Alvechurch who found themselves level on points with fourth from bottom Kings Langley, however the visitors league position was misleading as their FA Cup heroics meant that they were playing catch-up with half a dozen games in hand and the potential to aim for the play off positions if they could get a run going.

The Lambs came into the new year on the back of an eight game unbeaten run and a 4-0 Boxing Day win which included four wins on the bounce, while Church had picked up ten points out of the last eighteen around their FA Cup and Trophy involvements.

Peaks made one change to the side that ran out at Knights Lane with Luke Fairlamb returning to the starting eleven as Alex Bradley sat out the tie while Ian Long’s Church squad featured familiar faces in Dan Jezeph in goal and Jack Concannon on the bench.

Wearing the away kit in support of Shelter’s #nohomekit initiative, The Lambs got the 2pm kick off game underway attacking the Meadow Street End and nearly took the lead on 4 when Jezeph came out to try and clear a chance but McKeown got their first and tried a lob which landed agonisingly on the roof of the net.
Fairlamb forced a corner on the left on 6 which had to be clawed out by the visiting defence, a superb cross field pass from Collard fell for Creaney and he took it down and turned in one move before firing, but it whistled past the right hand post and Tamworth continued to press, until a foul on the already industrious Mussa allowed the deadball to find the head of Collard past the far post on 9 but he was unable to get it on target.
Skeen-Hamilton had the first Church attempt of the game on 12, lifting a shot that was more hopeful than accurate, high over the target onto the Castle End roadway.
The Lambs took the lead in the next move though, with McKeown launching himself at the low bouncing ball to head home from a central position after great work from Finn to get the cross in from the right and Collard to head it back into the mix from past the far post (1-0, 13 mins)
McKeown nearly added a second on 21 with a placed shot from the edge of the area but it came back off the bar and didn’t fall well enough for Creaney to follow up from 6 yards out, allowing the visiting defence to block and clear.
A brace of Lambs corners kept the pressure on as the game hit the half hour mark, and Fairlamb rifled a shot into the side netting from the left of the box.
Olaloko was booked for a poor follow through challenge on Dolman as the ball dropped by the touchline on 39 and Tamworth regained possession and continued to keep the ball mainly in the opposition half until Alvechurch forced their first corner of the game 44 minutes and Creaney cleared the danger at the near post.
Two minutes added time was played at the end of the half and Tamworth saw the clock down without further incident.

HT 1-0

Church restarted the game but it was Tamworth who took the early initiative penning them back in the early exchanges without really testing Jezeph.
However, Skeen-Hamilton did get a shot away at Singh on 52 which forced the keeper protect his goal from the dipping, swerving effort.
After a change for the visitors, Finn took the ball down in the area and appeared to be brought down in trying to get a shot away but no penalty was given, and Milnes follow up was deflected behind for a left sided throw which Curley launched into the box and Creaney flicked it on but there was no one to finish the move.
Itota curled a speculative shot high over Singh’s goal from distance on 57 and he caught at high cross from Sephton on 63 to keep Church at bay and at the other end Finn’s header went over the bar from Fairlamb’s cross.
Finn forced another left sided corner on 68 and a nod down from Collard was met by McKeown which forced Jezeph to push it over his bar but the second flagkick came to nothing.
Dolman was on hand to disrupt the run of Itota on 71 as Church found space to push upfield and Collard headed a dangerous freekick behind for a corner on 73 and the Lambs captain was on hand to head it away too, before a crunching challenge on him halted play.
And then from a move out of midfield, Creaney headed on for McKeown to burst onto the ball and after a couple of touches to take him to the edge of the area he fired home into the bottom right corner to double The Lambs lead (2-0, 77 mins)
Creaney made way for Deacon for the final 10 minutes, as The Lambs looked for a third and he nearly netted with his first touch from Finn’s cross but couldn’t quite get it on target, and then McKeown went through but shot straight at Jezeph who parried it away for a corner.
And from the corner Collard rose high to head down into the mix and McKeown gladfully bagged his hat-trick from close range (3-0, 82 mins)
George replaced the Lambs hattrick hero on 84 and appeared to be felled as he ran into the area but there was no penalty awarded and play continued.
George weaved his way into the box again on 87 and forced another corner which Mussa rattled against the Church defence for another flagkick which was cleared.
Collard left the field to applause on 90 and passed the captains armband to Mussa for the three minutes of added time before the final whistle blew on a near perfect start to 2023.

Singh, Curley, Cockerill-Mollett, Mussa, Collard (c.) (Hart 90), Dolman, McKeown (George 84), Milnes, Creaney (Deacon 80), Finn, Fairlamb
Subs: Clement, Cater
YC: (none)

Jezeph, Cassidy, Sephton, Teixeira, Williams, Carter (c.), Abbey, Hallahan (Concannon 67), Olaloko, Skeen-Hamilton (Itota 54), Waldron (Willets 87)
Subs: Randle, Taylor
YC: Olaloko 39

Referee: Mr. Niall Smith
Assistants: Jamie Howe, Daniel Clenton

Att: 1058

MOM: Really Awesome Coffee chose Eoin McKeown

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