Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Nowhere To Run To Baby, Nowhere To Hyde - Tamworth 2 Hyde United 1 - Blue Square North - 29/01/08

Right, first things first, as you may have noticed I once again forgot to take any pictures of the game whatsoever, therefore this report will be accompanied by a selection of random images
mostly pulled from Photobucket. I would worry about copyright but the chances of anyone whose photo I have used actually reading this is surely slim to the point of non-existence. (Cue someone contacting me to sue my ass tomorrow!).
Well, things have moved on in the sunshine bubble filled World of Tamworth FC, the last time I went we were awful, the defeat against Solihull Poors was obviously a nadir in the season and since then we've won three in a row. This has even prompted the odd chorus of "Gary Mills' Barmy Army" from the more fickle amongst our support! Each to their own but I'm afraid the jury is still out for me at the moment.
Hyde United arrived at The Lamb on theback of a fairly poor run themselves which has seen them slip from possible automatic promotion candidates back into the pack chasing the play-off places, and with the new found optimism gained from beating Blyth(e) Spartans twice I actually fancied us to win this. The squad has been bolstered with a couple of judicious loan signings from Wrexham plus the excellent Marrison from Hinckley who was their top scorer so I have no idea why they allowed him to move to fellow relegation candidates, but hey, our gain.

Pre-match refreshments were once again taken at The White Lion where we saw Middlesborough overcome a stubborn mansfield in the Cup and I sampled an excellent Hobgoblin and a Beowulf Chiller which was decent but a bit too hoppy for my liking. No sausage rolls this time though.
In an attempt to boost the attendance the Tamworth Herald had printed vouchers for half-price adult and free child admission so I was expecting a decent crowd, as it was the attendance was only 400 or so more than the average for this season so it seems that it was mostly the regulars who took advantage of the offer, still, if only 5% of those who came for the first time decide to come again it will have been worth it, and all such attempts to boost the attendance from the vast majority of Tamworthians who just don't care about their local club are to be applauded.
What I won't applaud though is the decision to hand out free (sponsored!) rattles! My God they were annoying. I thought nothing could be more annoying at a football match than music played after goals or drums but I was badly wrong, the sound of five hundred kids with rattles will haunt me forever.

Something else I warmly applaud....cheap beer! The clubhouse was doing pints for £1.50, can't grumble, how about bringing back real glasses though?
From kick-off it was obvious that this was a vastly different Tamworth than the bunch of arses that turned up against Solihull. All season we have looked so much better than most teams in this division when we have played it on the deck, on Saturday we did this throughout the game and consequently controlled the match almost completely. We were creating chances and the addition of Foster in the midfield has had the seemingly impossible effect of making even Dave Bampton looked quite good! Of course I completely missed our opener, I don't even know how, I only took my eye off the pitch for a few seconds and everyone cheered. Scored by Jamie Reed from a Bampton flick-on apparently. Wouldn't mind keeping Reed for a few more weeks after his loan from Wrexham ends, I once said hello to Brian Little in a restaurant in Knowle, I'm sure he'll remember me if I give him a ring to ask him.
Got chatting to 'H' in the clubhouse at half-time and so, inevitably, missed our second goal as well. Heard the cheer and then heard the announcement, Marrison scored it, well taken by all accounts. So it was a happy and singing Shed that I went back to. Hyde tried to get back into the game after this but really didn't look like scoring. It took a penalty to pull them back into it, looked fair enough from where I was stood and the Tamuff players only really complained for the sake of it.
Marrison then nearly restored the two goal lead with a sublime bit of skill, flicking the ball over a defender and looping a shot over the goalkeeper only to see it bounce off the crossbar. If that had been Ronaldo there wouldn't have been a dry seat in the MOTD studio!
There was a scare towards the end when Hyde put the ball into the net after a superb flowing move, but the offside flag was up: "You thought you had scored, you were wrong, you were wrong" and Tamuff had their three points. Ten clear of relegation now and ten more away from the magic 40, it's far too early to be talking of revivals and play-offs but I tell you what, we can go to Stafford on Saturday for the Trophy tie full of confidence. A trip to Wembley? You never know.
Attendance: 1189
Beer: A bargain at £1.50 for a rather nice Black Sheep Bitter
Rattles - A complete pain in the arse.

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