Once again, Tamworth proved an unhappy hunting ground for Harrogate Town, as they were beaten by a second half penalty.
Town were unchanged,apart from Tom Platt replacing the suspended Warren Burrell.
After early Town pressure, in which Jack Emmett and Lloyd Kerry were prominent,it was Tamworth who had the first chances.
A slip by Lewis Turner almost let in the Lambs, but Platt was on hand to clear Town’s lines.
Elliott Durrell’s left wing corner was driven just past the upright by Curtis Strong, but Town countered when Brendan Daniels twice drove free kicks into the defensive wall after Emmett and Paul Clayton had been fouled on the edge of the area.
Town were beginning to exert pressure on the home defence and Jordan Thewlis took advantage of a sliced clearance to set up Kerry, but his shot was blocked by the packed defence.
Undeterred,Town’s Mason Warren pushed forward to find Dave McGurk in the area and he lashed a powerful volley across the Tamworth goal.
The Lambs, spurred on by a vociferous,partisan crowd,produced the best move of the first half when Durrell’s fine crossfield pass found Ross Dyer who dispatched Danny Newton down the left and his well hit drive just cleared Town’s crossbar.
The half ended with Turner and Daniels combining to create a shooting chance for Platt,who was having an excellent game,but his well struck shot was just off target.
Town had the first opportunity after the break,when Kerry found Thewlis on the right and he cut inside to unleash a rising drive that narrowly cleared the home goal.
Good football was at a premium, as both sides continued to lump the ball forward at every opportunity and it was a poor spectacle for the 591 spectators.
However,fortunes began to swing Tamworth’s way with,firstly Peter Crook having to make a good diving save from Newton, and Durrell shooting over from the edge of the area.
Kerry was booked for kicking the ball away which was to have dire consequences later in the game for Town.
The decisive moment arrived after 63 minutes when a misplaced pass by Kerry was played into Town’s penalty area and Curtis Strong’s run was halted by a foul challenge by Turner. Durrell then stepped forward to lash the resulting penalty past Crook.
Andy Gascoigne replaced the ineffective Daniels, who was the target of the crowd’s wrath after a clash with Louis Ezewele before the break which left the No 6 needing a spell of treatment from the physio,although the referee saw nothing amiss.
On 72 minutes Emmett broke through down the inside right channel,only to be hauled down by Ashley Carter with a tackle that would have graced Twickenham, but the hapless referee,Mr Buonassisi, saw fit to only award a yellow card,although no other defenders were in a position to intervene.
Joe Colbeck and Dominic Knowles replaced Emmett and Thewlis in a double substitution as Town tried to rescue a point,but Gascoigne’s first task was to clear a Tamworth shot off his own line.
Lloyd Kerry then received his marching orders for a second yellow card after an innocuous clash with a Tamworth defender, a decision which even mystified the home officials.
Town,with Danny Ellis and McGurk, strong in defence easily snuffed out Tamworth’s late attacks,while at the other end a late shot past the post by Gascoigne was the sum total of Town’s late efforts.
At least, Town still remain in second place and well positioned to make the play-offs.
Tamworth 1 Harrogate Town 0 Att.591
1 Crook, 2 Turner, 3 Warren, 4 Platt, 5 Ellis (c),6 McGurk, 7 Emmett (Colbeck 73),8 Kerry, 9 Clayton, 10 Thewlis (Knowles 73), 11 Daniels (Gascoigne 58)
Unused subs 12 Foster, 17 Swain Sent off Kerry,Bookings Turner,Knowles Att.591
Report by John Harrison