Well Who Would Have Thought That …
Following a disappointing result against Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night, Marcus Law’s men welcomed footballing legend Dietmar Hamann and his Stockport County side to The lamb.
After ten games, Tamworth were sitting nicely in 9th position, above The Hatters in 14th, Stockport not starting the season as well as many would have predicted at the start of the season, following their recent relegation from the Football League. Just two wins and seven 1-1 draws meant that County hadn’t started as well as they would have liked, but having only lost once so far this season, it was going to be a tough ask for The Lambs.
Duance Courtney finally managed to get a place in the squad following his injury, albeit on the bench, with the only change from Tuesday night (perhaps surprisingly), Nabil Shariff, who came in on the wing for Danny Mills in a 5-4-1 formation.
Tamworth started brightly, although perhaps a little nervy, hardly surprising given the time that they conceded the only goal of the game against Forest Green, as Danny Thomas weeved his way into the box, but was brought down for a strong penalty challenge which the referee waved away to the dismay of the Tamworth fans. Tamworth continued with their early dominance, with Dan Bradley having a pop which was easily dealt with by Matthew Gelnnon in the Stockport goal. Stockport eventually got going following the Tamworth pressure, with a chance going over the bar. Just before the half hour mark, Stockport almost snatched the lead but for a great save by Jonathan Hedge as Ryan McCann’s header took a deflection just yards in front of him.
Nabil Shariff almost opened the scoring for Tamworth late into the first half as he tussled his way through the Stockport defence to hit a shot that caught the Stockport keeper off guard, hit the left-hand side of the post and trickled along the line, before Glennon leaped on loose ball to keep his side level. There was a scare for Tamworth just before halftime as Richard Tait was hurt in a clash with Euan Holden, but the right back didn’t seem to be too badly hurt, as he eventually got to his feet.
It didn’t take long for The Hatters to take the lead in the second half, with just a few minutes played, Tamworth conceded a corner, and Sean McConville’s shot came to Nick Chadwick with the Tamworth defenders rooted to the spot, leaving an easy header for the Stockport captain to head home. It wasn’t long before Stockport’s celebrations were cut short though, as McConville seemed to dislocate his shoulder in a challenge with Sam Habergham, being stretchered off and taken to hospital. Stockport turned on the pressure after McConville’s departure, which Tamworth were unable to cope with. A number of shots came from Stockport as The Lambs seemed unable to find any answer to Stockports dominance. Carl Piergianni was the first to have a chance for Stockport, but missed the target, and substitute Antonio German had a good effort saved by Hedge, who kept his side in the game again from close range as a chance came in from the left. Tamworth continued to plug away though, Sam Habergham making some great forward runs and putting in a number of crosses, some more effective than others. Tamworth started to work their way back into the game, as Ashley Cain seemed to wake up on the right having not been in the game much at all in the second half, creating two chances in the space of five minutes from right-sided crosses for Danny Mills, whose headers both ended up in the Castle End terrace behind the goal. By this time the game seemed lost by Tamworth, as Stockport seemed comfortable and in control, while Tamworth seemed desperate and ineffective. As six minutes of added time was shown by the fourth official following McConville’s treatment, Tamworth went on an all out attack, and with just over two minutes or so left to play, Francino Francis punted the ball forward for Kyle Patterson, who headed the ball goalwards, only for Iyseden Christie to deny him of his first goal for Tamworth as he stabbed the ball home on the line to make sure the ball made its way into the net, to the delight of the Tamworth fans. A great way to earn a draw, and a good display following Tuesday night’s result.
A lot of people may have jokingly set this game out as a 1-1 draw following the amount Stockport have already had, but this result came after The Lambs dug deep and worked hard against a strong team who are still finding their feet at this level, inconsistent referring did not help the home side either, because had the referee handed Law’s men the penalty right at the start of the match the game and the result may well have been a completely different story. A tough trip to Essex on Tuesday night is next for Tamworth as the travel to Braintree Town for the first time in the clubs history. The Iron have started marvellously, as the Conference new boys sit 3rd in the league just behind joint leaders Wrexham and Gateshead.
Man of the Match: Sam Habergham. Originally, I was going to give this to Richard Tait who as usual put himself about and but his body on the line for the course, but Sam Habergham’s forward runs and dipping crosses were for large periods of times the only real threat Tamworth posed to Stockport, while also making some great challenges at the back to make sure the score line remained at one nil. Perhaps now the youngster can kick on from today’s performance to continue his progress and give Marcus Law a selection headache over who to play at left back over himself Scott Barrow and of course Connor Gudger who remains out on loan at Hinckley United.
Jonathan Hedge, Richard Tait, Sam Habergham, Francino Francis, Paul Green, Ashley Cain, Danny Thomas Jay Smith, Jason Bradley (Danny Mills 74), Nabil Shariff (Patterson 65), Kieron St.Aimie (Christie 60)
Subs not used: Duane Courtney, Liam McDonald
Stockport County Team:
Matthew Glennon, Euan Holden, Daniel O’Donnell, Sean McConville (Daniel Rowe 55), Sam Sheridan, Ryan McCann, Nick Chadwick, Tom Elliott (Antonio German HT), Carl Piergianni, Michael Paton (JonNolan 90), Chris Blackburn
Subs not used: Ian Ormson, Nabil Bounab