Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Roll Out the Predictable Headline. - Tamworth 0 Barrow 4 - Lamb Ground - FA Cup (Sponsored by a rip-off energy company, reduce my bills you bounders)

I love the FA Cup, well I love it when we win. Today we didn't, we were stuffed, or so the scoreline suggests anyway. But the reality is a little different, for large chunks of this match Tamworth more than matched Barrow but we failed to take our chances, and if you do that against even a half-decent Conference (sorry Blue Square!) National side they will punish you.

Ach! It was still a decent day out, beers in The Albert, The Sir Robert Peel, The Market Vaults and The White Lion were all pretty decent, the Guinness in the absurdly named Vertigo (converted from The Boot to some sort of rock pub, not really my thing but you have to tick them off!) wasn't. Got a lift to the ground (cheers Julie) to save the walk and could see that it was a good crowd for once.

As for the game, well as I said above, Tamworth played okay, we're a passing side this season and so are Barrow so it was good to watch. If we had taken just one of the chances we had in the first half hour I reckon we'd have won this, but we didn't, and then the very impressive (and very large) McNulty lashed in from eight yards for Barrow. Still it was only 1-0 at half-time, a good team talk to fire the lads up and it's game on right? Not when you concede the second after fifty seconds it's not! Game plan out the window and effectively game over.

Barrow got a third after Bevan hauled down their striker, he was sent off (rightly) and as our only other keeper is cup-tied centre-half Craig McAughtrie took over between the sticks. To be fair Macca pulled off a couple of good saves, in fact one where he went down low to his left to push out a stinging drive was worthy of any keeper. He was beaten once more by a good run and shot as Tamworth tried to push forward to get something from the game. At the final whistle The Shed, who had spent most of the second half abusing Barrow manager, applauded rather than jeered and this is a sign that one defeat does not ruin what has so far been an excellent start to the season.
Consolation was gained in the news that Southport has lost to Redditch and Tamworth were back on top of the league, not often that happens after a 4-0 drubbing!

One moan, why was the draw for the 1st round held on Sunday, it is one of the traditions for non-league teams who make it to the 1st round proper to gather in the clubhouse afterwards to see who they've got. ITV's decision deprived the travelling Barrow fans (who were excellent by the way) of this, I have written to complain of course!

Attendance - 1012 (looked a lot more, I think that dodgy FA Cup turnstyle was being used again!)
Programme - probably!

It's Catch Up Time

Right, my completely rubbish reason for no updates this month is that I have ordered a new camera, which hasn't arrived yet! What I was going to do was go back to the grounds I had been to this month, take a few photos and then do the write up, but while I argue with Argos or whoever they are blaming for the non-arrival of my camera here us a quick precis of the four games I attended in October plus a proper write up of the last one.

Tamworth 2 Hyde United 0 - The Lamb Ground - Blue Square North

Easy stroll for a very scarily in-form Tamworth side. Really not much more to say, I even saw one of the goals (but missed the second one as it was once again scored at beer o'clock, how inconvenient!

Oldbury Athletic 3 Brocton 2 - Oldbury Leisure Centre - JW Hunt Cup

If anyone has ever been to this God-forsaken ground in the nether regions of The Black Country will already know what an uninviting place it can be on a cold and wet Autumn nigt, no cover, generally no chance of a cup of tea and not a decent pub within walking distance. Luckily tonight it was reasonably mild and I had a hip flask!
The ground is an ex-athletics ground but trhe track is long overgrown. I remember it being in a much better state when Tamworth came here to play the long gone Sandwell Borough, it must still pass ground inspections but for how much longer I don't know. Still the floodlights are working.
Decent game, Oldbury are rumoured to be chucking money at an attempt to gain promotion to the Midland Alliance, apparently some players are earning £200 per week which is a hell of a lot for a Step six club. They weren't that much better than Brocton though and only just shaded a five goal thriller (cliche fans!).
Attendance: 25

Pilkington XXX 1 Lye Town 3 - Triplex Ground - Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup

One of the competitions that gives some indication of which league, the Mid Comb or the West Mids, is the stronger. Not much to choose between them on this showing, Lye Town's finishing was the decider but Pilkington could have won it had they took some of several chances.
I do like The Triplex, it's a proper old Birmingham Works ground with an old red-brick factory looming over one end of the ptch and the ubiquitous bowling green and cricket pitch on one side.
Attendance: 42(H/C)

Bilston Town (2007) 1 Bilbrook 0 - Queen Street - West Midlands League Division One

A Bilston team back at Queen Street can only be a good thing. Endless break-ins and vandalism have forced at least two previous Bilston teams to fold and this latest reincarnation had to spend last season (and the beginning of this) at Bantock Park in Wolverhampton while the ground was made safe enough to play in. But I was very pleasantly surprised on walking to the ground from The Olde White Rose (inevitably) to see that it had had a lick of paint and nice new orange plastic lettering on the outside.
Inside it was just as good, everything fixed up, and very comfortable cushioned seating in the stand, how very civilised!.
The game was rubbish mind, and it looked very much like I was going to see my first 0-0 for two years until Bilston won and converted a penalty to win the game.
Cynics will say that Bilston are wasting their time because of the location of the ground but The Lunt is not as bad as it used to be, there's even plans to build a hotel next to the ground although whether this credit crunch thing will put paid to that idea remains to be seen.
Attendance: 32