Evo-Stik Southern Premier Central
Tamworth 0-1 Stratford Town
Report by Craig Gibbons
WILSON Carvalho struck early in the second half to fire Stratford Town to a narrow 1-0 victory over lowly Tamworth.
After a goalless first half, Town bagged the only goal of the game in the 49th minute when Carvalho latched on to Will Grocott’s threaded pass before firing the ball into the far corner.
Tamworth had actually got off to a positive start in front of a 537-strong crowd and had a good chance to take the lead in the eighth minute, but Jordan Clement could only volley just wide from the edge of the area after collecting the lively Jack Concannon’s pullback.
Town never really got going in the first half, with Nabil Shariff and Carvalho finding it hard to break down a stubborn Lambs defence.
Likewise, Town were resolute in defence as Jamie McAteer and Jordan Williams mopped up any danger as the half progressed.
Tamworth almost nosed themselves ahead in the 23rd minute but Gregg Smith’s glancing header from Concannon’s pin-point free-kick flew just wide of the far post.
The effort clearly worried Town keeper Matija Sarkic, who had scrambled across his line in a bid to cover his far post had the shot been on target.
It took until the 35th minute for Thomas Baillie’s men to have their first reasonable attack but Kynan Isaac’s throughball to Shariff was cut out.
A minute later Kian Williams found some space on the right but his cross was put out for a corner which was subsequently cleared and that was as good as it got for Town in the opening 45.
After the break, Town came out much the better side and it took just four minutes for them to open the scoring.
A beautifully weighted throughball from Grocott was latched on to by Carvalho, who cut inside before firing home into the far corner.
Five minutes later Tamworth were nearly back on level terms but captain Aman Verma could only lash a shot from inside the box just wide from Concannon’s low free-kick.
Town had a great chance to double their lead just past the hour mark when Shariff broke free down the left after a kind deflection, but Kian Williams could only skew a shot wide when perhaps the better option would have been to pass to Carvalho at the back post.
Former Town man Claudio Dias fired wide as the game entered the final quarter of an hour before Shariff had an effort blocked by Simpson after a defensive mix-up.
With 11 minutes remaining, Dias then saw a guided header well saved by Sarkic while a last-ditch block denied Kristian Green getting a shot off on target moments later.
Tamworth continued to pile on the pressure as the clock ticked down but they could not find a way past a sturdy Town defence which had performed superbly all game.
For the full report and reaction, read Thursday’s Herald.
TAMWORTH: Luke Simpson, Charlie Shaw (Junior Mpofu 83), Jordan Gough, Jordan Clement, Joe Magunda, Kristian Green, Jack Concannon, Aman Verma, Gregg Smith, Michael Taylor, Kyle Hayden (Claudio Dias 67). Subs: Harrison James, Aidan Jeynes, Sam Walton.
TOWN: Matija Sarkic, Lewis Wilson, Cody Fisher (Dan Preston 45), James Fry, Jamie McAteer, Jordan Williams, Kian Williams (Dan Summerfield 70), Kynan Isaac, Nabil Shariff, Wilson Carvalho (Curvin Ellis 86). Subs: Ross Etheridge, Ross Oulton.