Tamworth

Nickname: The Lambs

Directions to ground: Click here to open link

Website: http://www.thelambs.co.uk/

Last meeting: No previous meetings

Previous meetings: No previous meetings

History: (wikipedia)
The town of Tamworth had been represented at football by Tamworth Castle F.C. until the club folded in 1933. This void was filled thanks to a campaign started by a letter from a local businessman in the local newspaper setting in motion the formation of Tamworth F.C. Originally playing next to the Jolly Sailor pub, the club moved to their present ground, The Lamb Ground, in 1934. Tamworth began life competing in the Birmingham Combination, before joining the West Midlands League, which was later renamed the Birmingham League, in the 1950s. In the 1960s Tamworth experienced success, winning the league in 1963–64 and 1965–66, as well as lifting the West Midlands League Cup, Birmingham Senior Cup and Staffordshire Senior Cup in that decade.

1972 saw Tamworth promoted to the Southern League, but a period of falling attendances and financial difficulties followed. The club returned to the West Midlands League, and it was taken over by a consortium of local businessmen in 1984. In 1987–88 Tamworth won the League and were promoted back to the Southern League.

Tamworth, managed by Graham Smith, won the FA Vase in 1989, beating Sudbury Town. The final was played at Wembley Stadium, but the game finished 1–1, meaning that the winner would have to be decided by a replay. The replay was played at London Road, the home of Peterborough United, and Tamworth won 3–0 to lift the FA Vase for the first time.

Tamworth won promotion to the Football Conference in 2002–03 after winning the Southern League in 2001–02, only one year after narrowly missing the same promotion. That year, Tamworth earned a 3–3 draw on the final day at Folkestone Invicta while Kettering Town won, passing Tamworth for first place and winning promotion to the Football Conference. Tamworth also reached the final of the FA Trophy in 2002–03 season where they played Burscough but were denied a double, losing 2–1.

The club completed perhaps their highest profile signing of all time on 23 February 2006, with the capture of former Arsenal, Aston Villa, Walsall and English national midfielder Paul Merson. However, the arrangement meant that until the end of the season, the majority of Merson’s wages were to be paid by the club he used to manage, Walsall. The arrangement however only lasted two games, although Merson only played once in the 2–1 home loss to Halifax Town. Merson was dropped to the bench for the following game, which was a 5–0 defeat away to Grays Athletic. Merson later announced his retirement from professional football as a player on 9 March 2006, less than a month after joining Tamworth.

Although the club finished the 2005–06 season in 21st position (the last relegation position), in the Conference National, the club were spared the drop after Canvey Island resigned from the league. The Lambs did, however, reach the 3rd round of the FA Cup for the first time that season.

Despite a fairly poor 2006–07 league campaign, Tamworth once again found themselves at the 3rd round stage of the FA Cup. Norwich City beat The Lambs, and 18 days later Tamworth manager Mark Cooper and assistant manager Richard Dryden were dismissed with the club at the foot of the league table. They were replaced two days later by the former Tamworth managerial duo of manager Gary Mills[3] and assistant Darron Gee. Despite the change in leadership, Tamworth were relegated after finishing in 22nd position. Tamworth kicked off the 2007–08 season in the Conference North, a disappointing league campaign saw the club finish in 15th position.

The club began their second season in the Conference North and followed up a fantastic season with a win over Hinckley United on 21 April 2009 which secured the title and promotion back to the Conference Premier. The win was duly attained with a 65th-minute goal from Nick Wright as the club won 1–0. Captain Martin Foster received the trophy in front of hundreds of ecstatic fans and the celebrations began at The Lamb Ground.

On 13 October 2010, manager Gary Mills quit Tamworth to join fellow Conference Premier side York City, names of possible replacements started to circulate and many believed that Ian McParland had expressed interest in the job. It’s also been rumoured that the board have made bids to Kevin Wilkin, Dean Thomas and Jim Gannon to take over at the club. However first team coach Des Lyttle became caretaker manager and was later hired as player-manager. He resigned as manager on 13 April 2011, and was replaced by Tamworth legend Dale Belford, who was to manage the club for the remaining four games of the season. Belford led Tamworth to last day safety with a 2–1 home win over Forest Green Rovers, with Jake Sheridan scoring the all important winning goal.

In November 2010, Tamworth were drawn against Crewe Alexandra in the first round of the 2010–11 FA Cup, Tamworth won the tie 2–1, with goals coming from Alex Rodman and Danny Thomas. Tamworth were then drawn away to Carlisle United in the second round, and were knocked out after a 3–2 defeat.

Belford stepped aside at the end of the season, and the search for a new manager to lead the club for the 2011–12 Conference Premier season began, speculation was rife, and the names of former York City manager Martin Foyle, Eastwood Town manager Paul Cox and former Walsall assistant manager Martin O’Connor were all linked to the club, but on 25 May 2011, Tamworth announced Kettering Town manager Marcus Law as the club’s new manager.

Tamworth were defeated by Everton in the 3rd round of the 2011–12 FA Cup 2–0 on 6 January 2012. Around 5,000 Lambs supporters made the trip to Goodison Park.

Marcus Law was relieved of his manager duties following a meeting with chairman Bob Andrews on Monday 14 January 2013. Dale Belford was appointed as caretaker-manager for the foreseeable future with former Lambs player Scott Lindsey as his assistant.

The 2013-14 Football Conference was ultimately one to forget for the lambs. In a season that included a few highlights such as progress to the 2nd round of the 2013-14 FA Cup, where they were beaten 2–1 at home to Bristol City, Tamworth couldn’t survive in the league and finished 23rd, dropping down into the Football Conference North after five seasons in the English fifth tier.

On 15 September 2014, with Tamworth in the bottom 3 of the Conference North, Dale Belford left the club by Mutual Consent and was replaced on 23 September by former Wrexham Manager Andy Morrell. Despite a 12-game winning run, promotion was just out of reach as Tamworth failed to get into the play-offs on goal difference.

2015–2016 saw virtually a new squad signed but again the elusive play-offs were just out of reach as Tamworth finished 7th.