Tamworth v Darlington

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 3pm
Vanarama Conference North

 
Tamworth FC
The Lamb Ground, Kettlebrook, Tamworth Staffordshire, B77 1AA
Tel: (01827) 65798 Twitter: @tamworthfc

History: The club was founded in 1933 after the demise of the town's earlier club, Tamworth Castle. It moved to The Lamb ground (named after a pub, which once stood where the car park is now) a year later, and spent most of its history in the local Birmingham and West Midlands league. A non-league high point was winning the FA Vase in 1989, after the Wembley final with Sudbury ended 1-1, the Lambs won the replay at Peterborough, 3-0. After winning the old Southern League in 2003, they were promoted to the Conference, while Paul Merson retired from football after his only appearence for Tamworth in 2006. Current Darlo manager Mark Cooper was sacked after the club struggled but despite relegation, eventually Tamworth won promotion back to the top tier of non-league football under former Nottingham Forest midfielder Gary Mills. They were promoted back again in 2009 and lasted until relegation in 2014. One recent innovation is that the Lambs will be playing on the Conference North's first 3G pitch.
Capacity: 4,000
Record attendance 4,920 v Atherstone Town (1948)
Last season: 9th
Record victory: 14-4 v Holbrook Inst (1933)
Defeat: 0-11 v Solihull Borough (1940)
Honours: Blue Square North winners 2008/09, Dr Martens Premier League winners 2002/03, F.A. Trophy finalists 2003, FA Vase winners 1989
Nickname: The Lambs
Colours: Red
Manager: Andy Morrell

Chairman: Bob Andrews

Famous fans/players/connections: Ian Moores, Steve Walsh, Paul Merson, Tommy Johnson, Gary Mills (players), Mark Cooper (manager, Darlo), Clint Marcelle (ex-Darlo)

Click for Streetmap of ground

Away fans are normally given the Meadow Street terrace, behind the goal - it will remind Darlo fans of the old Tinshed at Feethams, as there is a small roof; or there is an allocation of seating in the main stand.

Admission (2016/17): is standing Adults £12, OAPs £7, 16-17 year olds £4; ages 6-15 £2; under fives free. Seating: £14, OAPs £9, 16-17 year olds £6; ages 6-15 £4; under fives £2. Away fans are usually given the  Meadow Street terracing behind the goal. Ground plan

The catering kiosk did burgers and hot drinks although a bit of a trek behind the main stand and during segregation we had to be let in and out through the gate.

From the North (Darlington, 160 miles): M1 and onto the M42. Leave at junction 10 (the familiar sight for Darlo fans of Tamworth services). Turn south on the A5, leave at the Bitterscote junction. At the roundabout, take the exit with McDonalds on your left (towards Tamworth Castle) At roundabout, turn right (4th exit, towards Ankerside multi-storey carpark). The Ladybridge Beefeater is on the left, and continue with the Snowdome on the right to a roundabout. Take a right at the roundabout (towards Nottingham, Burton, Nuneaton); at the next roundabout, turn left (Amington, Glascote); at the next roundabout, turn right (Glascote B5000). At yet another roundabout, turn right (Kettlebrook). The statium ios first right on Kettlebrook Road, about 50 yards away.

Parking: There is a car park at the stadium, cost was £2 on our last visit. Or there is parking in the town centre

Darlington FC Supporters' Club
Coach Contact: Darlington FC Supporters Group, call 01325 250531 or 07951 434731 to book a seat. 10am, £20. Details of the supporters' group travel can be found here and a reminder about behaviour.

The Lamb is around 1/2 mile from Tamworth railway station - or 15 minute walk. Leave the station and walk along the approach road to the roundabout, and turn left. Cross the road leading under the railway bridge. Leaving Jewson's on your right, walk along Offa Drive. Continue past Aldi to a roundabout, before turning left past Bolebridge Garage. Cross the river bridge with the railway viaduct on your left and you should be able to see the stadium floodlights ahead. Follow the path to the left into Amington Road; cross the road keeping the viaduct on your left. When you reach the railings cross the road but don't go under the arches. Head up Kettlebrook Road and the entrance to The Lamb is 50 yards ahead on the right.

Sir Robert Peel, 13-15 Lower Gungate, B79 7BA
This is a great little pub, in a quiet corner of town. They had five real ales on during our visit - and an interesting choice, including Oakham's and local Midlands brews. It was also the CAMRA-recommended town centre pub - named after the town's former MP and famous Victorian reformer - not far to stroll to from the station.Oen from 12 noon on Saturdays and from 2pm midweek - no food, but there's a nice cheese shop a couple of doors down. It was voted the local CAMRA pub of the year in 2007 and 2009. DAFTS recommended. Click for Streetmap

King's Ditch 51 Lower Gungate, Tamworth
The town's first micropub, promising mostly local beers - including a nice couple from Walsall on our visit - and lots of real cider. It opened in an old cycle shop by local real ale enthusiasts in 2014. Open from 12pm. No spirits, draught lager, TV, music or fruit machines. There are a few seats upstairs too and you can even watch the pints being poured in the cellar downstairs on a big screen. Customers are invited to bring their own sandwiches as food isn't served although there are a few snacks like pickled eggs. Eight minutes walk from the station in the town centre. Directions here if you need them. DAFTS recommended

The Market Vaults, Market Street
This was the local CAMRA pub of the year in 2016, a cosy, traditional bar with eight real ales on. Friendly welcome too and they do hot food. DAFTS recommended

The Bole Bridge, 8 Bolebridge Street, B79 7PA
This is the Wetherspoons option, should you need it.

Close to the station is The Tweedale Arms Hotel, Victoria Road, B79 8JT. Tel: 01827 62748, which has a bar. It also does accommodation, with ensuite singles from £34.50 a night.

At the ground:

The Tamworth FC clubhouse is only open to visiting supporters when segregation is not in force - so we suggest you make alternative arrangements, with the town centre only a short walk away. It is found in a corner of the ground, next to the main offices and changing rooms, in the opposite end to the away terrace.

Unfortunately it was a bit of a walk to get to the burger kiosk at the ground - especially with the match segregated - with a walk behind the stands. Usual choice of chains - KFC, Macdonalds at the Ventura retail park, not too far away.

   

There's the Official website, which is pretty tidy, and a Tamworth Fans Forum. There is also a Tamworth FC Heritage site, set up to mark the club's 75th anniversary.

Tamworth Council

Tamworth Herald

© Old match photos: Ted Blair

Most Darlo fans only know Tamworth from its service off the M42, a popular coach stop. But the town has plenty of history. It was the ancient capital of Mercia, while Tamworth Castle in the town centre is worth a visit (open from 12 noon). The town is celebrated for its connections to one-time local MP, the Victorian reformer and prime minister Sir Robert Peel, whose statue stands in front of the town hall. His "Tamworth Manifesto" was said to be the first party political manifesto.

There is also a great attraction - The Snowdome is an indoor winter sports complex, where you can ski and snowboard. (Two hour deals from £13). It's on River Drive, five minutes off the M42 or 15 minute walk from town. There are also bars, restaurant and a Starbucks here.

Tourist Information: 29 Market Street, Tamworth, B79 7LR Tel: 01827 709581/709618 Accommodation There's a Premier Inn at the Ventura Retail Park, off the A5.