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Missing In Action
By: Ben Bowers
DUE to a train mistake where we missed our connection, my friend and I missed the first 35 minutes of the game. Taking the cheap option of London Midlands Trains also resulted in being the slow option so we spent as much time in Northampton waiting for our connection as we did at the game! I walked into the ground-paying a ludicrous £9 and accompanied by police-to see Tamworth score their second goal.
I didn’t start writing until the second half so here goes my account from 4:00 onwards.
It was a hot day with a bit of a breeze. Town came out first for the second half and Tamworth kicked off playing towards the Town fans. For about 5 minutes nothing much really happened. Then Gobern put in a good cross which almost went out for a corner but no Town player attacked the ball and the keeper gathered it easily. Gobern then had a glimpse of goal when he took the ball wide onto his favoured right foot but he blazed it over.
Tamworth won a free kick after one of their players dived. There was a pause as he received ‘treatment.’ The resulting free kick was whipped in but it was caught by ‘O’ Donnell. A minute later the ball was down the other end and it fell to Connell. He cut in from the left and took a bullet shot which the rattled the crossbar. Town had the next good opening in the 59th minute when they won a free kick on the edge of the right hand side of the area. Ridley took an in swinger with his left foot but the keeper managed to get to it.
Woods’ lack of communication then was apparent as the 4th official put up the board to indicate a substitute despite our substitutes not even being ready to go on. It wasted time. However the ineffective Gobern came off for Tom Corner and Wood came off for Eagle. Due to two midfielders being sacrificed for a midfielder and a striker, Town went to 4-3-3. They made a positive impact on the game with Connell having the next shot. However it was too high to test the keeper. Town carried on putting the pressure on the Tamworth defence. Peacock had a shot blocked on the edge of the area and moments later Connell had a shot blocked which seemed to hit the hand of the onrushing defender. Town were beginning to dominate and some great link up play in the middle of the park-the best I have seen for a long time-was only ruined by a poor cross from Ridley.
Town were then rewarded for the pressure when Hudson slotted a through ball to Connell who then put it through the legs of the onrushing keeper and into the net. This increased the morale of the Town fans who had been quiet until then.
Town then made life very hard for themselves. Watt headed a long punt backwards and straight into the feet of the Tamworth striker who got the better of Kempson. Kempson, who was already on a yellow card was the last man and was given another yellow card. With ten men Town went to a 3-3-3. The resulting free kick went straight into the Town wall and was dealt with easily.
The referee, who was having a bad game, then lost all respect from the Town fans as he gave a free kick to Tamworth and a yellow card to Watt despite Watt winning the ball. In the 80th minute Tamworth had their first meaningful shot for a long time but it went straight at ‘O’ Donnell. Down the other end Connell had a shot blocked. Moments later the ball was crossed in and Connell hit the ball at the ground and it went straight at the keeper. Tom Corner then had a good chance but it went over the bar. Town made their final substitution with Garner coming on for Peacock. Garner went right-back and Bore went up front as Town went in search of an equaliser. The Tamworth striker responsible for getting Kempson sent off then had a shot which was closer to the corner flag than it was to the Town goal. Minutes later Town got a lucky escape. Ridley was confident that ‘O’ Donnell would get to a Tamworth through ball but there was a lack of communication and ‘O’ Donnell only just reached the ball. It was defending reminiscent of last year and I was misled to believe we had got that out of our system.
The 4th official indicated 3 minutes added time. Cummins had a powerful shot which went straight at the goalkeeper who could not hold on to it. Corner dived in but was a split second too late and the keeper managed to catch the ball at the second time of asking. A Tamworth player pushed Corner away from the ball but Bore got involved and pushed the player who had had the original scuffle with Corner. Many more players got involved and Bore was booked. That was the last chance for Town.
FT Tamworth 2 Town 1
Man of the match: Nobody impressed really in the second half. I am inclined to give it to the referee because he had the most effect on the game but I guess Connell is my man of the match. He took his goal well and was a handful for the Tamworth defence.
After the success last week against Luton I was expecting more from Gobern and Wood but they disappointed on the wings and were rightly taken off. We had one or two good chances and deserved a draw-from the 55 minutes that I saw of the game.
Att. 1,616 (603)
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