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Match Reports

Report: Tamworth 1-2 Iron

5 August 2023

Match Reports

Report: Tamworth 1-2 Iron

5 August 2023

The Iron recorded an opening day win away at Tamworth, coming from behind to record victory in the Vanarama National League North.

Substitute Danny Whitehall's debut goal was the difference between the two sides following a 1-1 scoreline in the opening 45 minutes.

Jimmy Dean opted to start with the same XI that beat Burton Albion at Glanford Park seven days prior in the final match of pre-season.

That meant United had a back four of Reagan Ogle, Max Kouogun, Will Evans and Tyler Denton protecting Ross Fitzsimons in goal, with a midfield three of Alfie Beestin, skipper Michael Clunan and Kian Scales in midfield and a front three of Jason Law and Cameron Wilson supporting Danny Elliott.

With the skipper getting things underway, it was a positive start for the Iron, with Elliott having the first effort of the new season when he took down a left-winged cross following combination play from Denton and Law, but his deflected effort rolled towards goalkeeper Jasbir Singh.

On four minutes, the story of the first half began, with the referee issuing the first of six cautions inside the opening 45 minutes. That caution was to Tamworth’s Daniel Creaney who sent the ball away after conceding a free-kick - something which football is looking to clamp down on in the new season.

From the resultant free-kick, there were handball shouts turned down as Evans’ rose highest, with his header appearing to glance off a hand. The referee awarded a goal kick.

Within a moment, the referee endeared himself to the home crowd further as he entered the home technical area to reprimand the home technical area staff, but this time without a card.

Matthew McQuillan’s yellow card was out again on 12 minutes though, as he cautioned Ben Acquaye after the ball was into the crowd following a free-kick award against him.

The first half battle between two players was Acquaye and the Iron’s Ogle, with the latter intercepting on 15 minutes as the ball was slotted into space. The United right-back then stepped across again moments later to block an incoming left-footed effort on goal in the 16th minute.

Caution three of the game was correctly issued to Tamworth’s Kyle Finn who saw his delayed fall met with a yellow card as penalty claims were waved away.

Scunthorpe were dealt their first real warning on 18 minutes as the latest carded man, Finn, drilled an effort on goal, with Fitzsimons producing a superb one-handed save to keep the scores goalless.

Tamworth extended their disciplinary lead to 4-0 on 19 minutes as Jordan Cullinane-Liburd steamed in with a reckless tackle. While the referee could have played advantage, with Elliott breaking on half-way, played was stopped, and the card administered.

The Iron won their first corner of the game on 20 minutes when Elliott opted to come short to receive the ball, turning it round the corner for Wilson, who rode the tackle to win the set-piece, which was played short to Law before Clunan’s cross was shielded away.

Kian Scales became the first cautioned played of United on 22 minutes for a standard foul, which was met with ironic cheers around the Lamb Ground

On 25 minutes, Wilson headed the ball down before receiving it back from Scales in on the right. He cuts across the penalty area before sending his left-footed shot into the bodies of defenders.

The Acquaye-Ogle battled continued shortly after, with the Iron defender nipping in to deny a certain goal following a low cross across the area, with Acquaye lurking for the tap-in.

But just a minute later, it was that Lamb player who opened the scoring in the 29th minute, drilling the ball into the net to beat Fitzsimons to his right.

The referee’s disciplinary proceedings continued on 38 minutes when Wilson saw yellow for what appeared to all to be a routine foul.

With five minutes added on at the end of the first half, it was the final of those which saw the Iron net the equaliser. The Iron’s first goal of the new season went down as an own goal by Matt Curley as he beats his own goalkeeper to the ball to loop it into the net.

The second half saw Tamworth quickest out of the traps with efforts from Finn and Tshikuna sent wide in the opening exchanges.

Jimmy Dean made his first two alterations on 57 minutes, introducing Whitehall and Jacob Butterfield to proceedings. Both quick got down to business and slotted in seamlessly, with Scales seeing an effort saved following work from both, which also included Denton.

Scales was denied again on 65 minutes with his left-footed low drive saved after taking a deflection.

The card tally racked up again with Matt Curley entering the notebook for running the ball away on 70 minutes after the Iron had been awarded a free-kick.

From that resultant free-kick, United would be ahead for the first time in the game as he sent in an acrobatic effort into the net via a deflection following a knockdown from Evans.

Following the goal, Dean withdrew Wilson and put on Fin Shrimpton to sure up the Iron rearguard for the final - what turned out to be - 30 minutes.

There were nine minutes added onto the end of the game, with Tamworth substitute Ty Deacon denied by Fitzsimons in the first of those with a header. Denton then put his body on the line four minutes later to deny a fizzed effort from troubling the Iron goal.

Fitzsimons was the penultimate player in the notebook as he took too long over a goal kick before the Iron nearly sealed the result with Butterfield, only for his effort to be deflected wide.

It was a card of a different colour produced by referee McQuillan in the ninth minute of additional time as he dismissed Brad Gascoigne for a foul on Beestin. Scales was in on goal and visibly frustrated by the bringing back of play.

The Iron defended resolutely for the final few minutes, with a total of 12 minutes of added time played in the second half.

TAMWORTH: Singh, Curley, Gascoigne, Finn, Milnes, Acquaye (Arlott-John, 72'), Cullinane-Liburd, Dolman, Tshikuna (Jones, 84'), Jellis, Creaney (Deacon, 84').

TAMWORTH SUBS: Phillips, Meikle.

IRON: Fitzsimons, Ogle, Kouogun, Evans, Clunan, Beestin, Elliott (Whitehall, 57’), Wilson (Shrimpton, 72’), Scales, Law (Butterfield, 57’), Denton.

IRON SUBS: Kelly, Boyce.

ATTENDANCE: 2,063 (750 away)

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