Smith laments ‘FA Cup hangover’ as Tamworth slip to Leiston defeat

(Credit: Richard Bowcott/Lambs Media)

Gary Smith believes an FA Cup hangover was the reason Tamworth were dealt their first home league defeat in over a year by Leiston.

Incidentally, it was Leiston who dished out the Lambs’ last home defeat in January 2020 and history repeated itself as Tamworth made three changes from midweek – including starts for Mikey Taylor and Michael Tait.

But a brace from Will Davies either side of an Adam Mills strike proved too much for Tamworth, who had got one back through Shaquille McDonald in the second half.

Joint boss Gary Smith said: “It wasn’t the performance I wanted today. We feared an FA Cup hangover all week and it was always going to be a hard game. 

“We tried to make some changes because we’ve got some players who have been itching for a game. I’ll have a look at myself and see if I have done anything wrong. 

“When I arrived today, I could just tell the atmosphere was flat – I thought I’d done enough in terms of energising the players since the Notts County defeat. 

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“The third goal killed us but one thing I will do is give the lads some credit for the fact they kept going to try and get something out of the game.”

The Lambs were looking to bounce back after their cup exit but were shellshocked inside ten minutes when Will Davies gave the visitors the lead, stabbing home Seb Dunbar’s low cross.

Jack Concannon and Orrin Pendley looked to respond for the home side, but both efforts were well matched by the Leiston keeper. 

Jas Singh did well to keep Mills out the first time but couldn’t do anything about his second effort three minutes later as the midfielder when he slammed a shot home off the underside of the crossbar with 36 minutes gone.

Tamworth introduced winger Shaquille McDonald at the break, and he didn’t need too long to get back amongst the goals.

McDonald, who hadn’t played since the opening day, was a nuisance from the off and managed to fire past Sam Donkin at the second time of asking to haul the Lambs back into the game.

Tamworth looked bright after the goal but couldn’t find a way through, something Leiston made them pay for on 80 minutes.

As a corner was cleared, Pendley was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area from a shot back in, allowing Davies to grab his second from the spot.

Mikey Taylor had a penalty shout of his own turned down moments later before Jack Thomas saw a volley deflected behind for a corner but in truth the third goal proved to be the killer for Tamworth.

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