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REPORT: Tamworth 3-4 Sky Blues

City come from behind to progress to next round...

15 November 2022

The Sky Blues progressed to the second round of the Birmingham Senior Cup with victory over Tamworth at the Lamb Ground.

City fell behind early on through Ben Bailey’s strike, but they were level just before the break when Ryan Howley’s free-kick deflected into the back of the net.

And the turnaround was complete midway through the second half when Fabio Tavares converted from the spot.

The City striker added a third with three minutes remaining and Tom Costello scored a fourth for the Sky Blues with a minute left on the clock, to ensure two late Tamworth goals were only consolation strikes.

After a quiet start to proceedings, it was City who had the first opportunity of the game when Harrison Nee fired a half-volley towards goal, but he dragged his shot wide.

A few moments later and the game had it’s first goal and it was the hosts who took the lead through Ben Bailey, after the centre-back hit a well struck effort from the edge of the area, which beat Luke Bell in the City goal.

The City ‘keeper was called into action again following the goal, as he had to be alert to gather Jordan Clement’s curling strike from distance.

It was a similar story on 32 minutes, but this time it was Shaquille Whittingham with the shot from distance and it was the same result, as Bell gathered.

With just over five minutes left on the clock, John Dempster’s side were back on level terms, and it came through midfielder Ryan Howley.

After City were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal, it was Howley who stepped-up to take the set-piece and his effort took a deflection on its way through and beat Jas Singh in the Tamworth goal.

The Sky Blues looked to head into the break in the lead and they had an opportunity when Fabio Tavares unleashed a powerful effort at goal, but Singh saved well, in what would prove to be the last piece of action in the first half.

HALF-TIME: Tamworth 1-1 Sky Blues

The hosts had the first chance of the second half as Alex Bradley struck a free-kick on the edge of the area inches wide.

At the other end, the Sky Blues caught Tamworth on the break, as they surged forward with Dinanga and Rus, but the latter’s ball inside for Fabio Tavares was ultimately intercepted.

Marco was involved in City’s next opportunity, as he was the first one to react to Singh spilling the ball in the area, but from a tight angle he couldn’t beat the ‘keeper.

Dempster’s side would eventually take the lead just after the hour mark after they awarded a penalty, which Tavares stepped-up to take and he fired the ball into the back of the net.

The City striker almost had a second when he was on the end of substitute Tom Costello’s pass, but he couldn’t find the target from a narrow angle.

Former Sky Blues midfielder Kyle Finn was introduced into the game in the second half and he forced Bell into a fine stop with five minutes left on the clock.

Tamworth would be left to rue that missed chance as Fabio Tavares put the game to bed, scoring his second of the game.

Then just seconds later the Sky Blues had their fourth and Costello had his goal, poking home from close range to book City’s place in the next round.

However, there was a late comeback from the hosts as goals from Thomas Parker and Alex Jones came as consolation goals.

FULL-TIME: Tamworth 3-4 Sky Blues

Yellows: Ben Hart, Abel Alabi, Blaine Rowe, Ryan Howley

Goalscorers: Ben Bailey, Ryan Howley, Fabio Tavares x2, Tom Costello, Thomas Parker, Alex Jones

Attendance: 430

Sky Blues Xl: Luke Bell (GK), Blaine Rowe, Abel Alabi, Jay McGrath (C), Dermi Lusala, Ricardo Dinanga, Ryan Howley, Marco Rus, Harrison Nee, Justin Obikwu (65' Costello), Fabio Tavares.

Subs: Daniel Rachel (GK), Callum Perry, Tristan Batanwi, Evan Eghosa, Tom Costello.

Tamworth Xl: Jas Singh (GK)(C), Ben Hart, Luke Fairlamb, Ben Bailey, Liam Dolman, Alex Bradley, Shaquille Whittingham (72' Parker), Jamie Jellis, Alex Jones, Jordan Clement (65' Finn), AJ George (79' Cockerill-Mollett).

Subs: Keelan Fallows (GK), Kyle Finn, Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Callum Griffin, Thomas Parker.

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