HEADLINE writers love the Lambs as teams can be "slaughtered" or "sheepish" at Tamworth.
And unfortunately Accrington Stanley let themselves fall into the victim category as they put in a tame performance and threw away another vital three points in their Conference promotion chase at the Lamb Ground.
Luckily for the Reds, their rivals also failed to hold their nerve with Hereford, Morecambe, Exeter and Scarborough all losing on Saturday.
But, after this weekend's games when the Reds don't play, the management team will get a true reflection of where Stanley really are in the league and what they have to do if they are to make the top five.
Tamworth seem to be one of those sides that have a curse over Stanley. They beat the Reds a couple of season's ago in the FA Trophy, drew at the Lamb Ground last season after a controversial penalty and the Reds suffered a 3-2 defeat at the Interlink in October.
But manager John Coleman had built up Saturday's clash saying it was a match the Reds "couldn't afford to lose".
And a lot more was expected from Stanley as, despite two poor games against Hereford in the FA Trophy the week before, they had started 2005 with a 100 per cent league record with wins over Halifax and Farnborough.
But, for the third match running, the Reds never got going.
They were without the suspended Mike Flynn, the injured Ged Brannan and flu-ridden Steve Jagielka and had two keepers on the bench - the last of their squad - but the home side were missing four of their regulars as well.
And Stanley succumbed to a killer blow just after half time when Jonathan Smith and Bob Taylor both went for a long ball forward on the edge of the area.
Smith, uncharacteristically, let it drop to his feet, Taylor nipped in and squared to debutant Mark Rawle who made himself an instant hero to the Tamworth faithful by slotting low past the diving Paul Crichton.
"I am shell-shocked," said assistant manager Jimmy Bell. "It is like deja vu. The same things seem to be happening week in week out and we shot ourselves in the foot again.
"We had two good results (against Halifax and Farnborough) and we kept telling the lads - get three or four wins and you will cement your place in the play-offs.
"Then for some unknown reason, we keep making silly mistakes.
"You can't legislate for Smithy making a mistake like that. It's a long ball in, he is under no pressure, he lets it bounce, gets bullied out of it and they've scored and the game has turned on its head. Smithy is gutted, absolutely gutted and he doesn't know why he has done it.
"We had done everything right. We had decided to be a little bit negative and we defended the hill as we knew they were going to bombard us in the first half with long balls and throw ins.
"We dealt with everything and then we told the lads at half-time, how well they'd done, to concentrate and press them in the second half. Then we concede and the game-plan goes straight out the window.
"We then had to try and score and press the game and, at the minute, the likes of Paul Mullin seems to be out on his feet and doesn't look like there is a goal in him. We have tried everything with the players but, for some reason, it is just not happening at the moment.
"We might need to sign a player here and there to provide the spark that we are lacking at the moment."
The Reds desperately needed to find that spark against the struggling Lambs after the two lack-lustre games against Hereford where they drew the first 0-0 and lost the replay 4-0 and hadn't found the back of the net.
But, as soon as the game kicked off, the home side showed they meant business and the Reds, once again struggled to get going.
Paul Cook came into the midfield ahead of Ian Craney while Smith filled the void left by Flynn's suspension.
And the signs were there immediately when player-boss Mark Cooper tested Paul Crichton after just five minutes and the Reds keeper did well to finger-tip the goalbound effort around the post.
Tamworth did seem in control and Stanley were limited to two crosses one from Chris Butler which was tipped over and another from Rory Prendergast, who beat Sekani Simpson, but his effort evaded the inrushing Paul Mullin.
Apart from that, it was Crichton who was under pressure, having to punch a couple of crosses away while Rawle shot wide of goal from a Simpson ball in.
Battling midfielder Marcus Ebdon had a go from 25 yards but Crichton held firm and then, on the stroke of half-time, Rawle raced down the centre onto a long ball forward and chipped the outcoming Crichton but also the crossbar.
Stanley's starting eleven came out in the second half but within two minutes, Craney came on for Cook. And within seconds it all went wrong with Rawle's well-taken goal.
This seemed to shake the Reds and Rawle could have had another two within ten minutes.
Crichton was equal to his first long range effort and the Stanley goalie managed to recover after he had left his goal in a challenge with Taylor, the ball fell to the loan striker but Crichton was back to catch his chip.
To the visitor's relief, Rawle hobbled off on the hour but pacey Tris Whitman did nothing to alleviate the pressure on the Reds backline.
However, there was a glimmer of hope that the Reds might scrape a much-needed draw when a long ball from Peter Cavanagh found McEvilly and he volleyed goalwards with Preston keeper Chris Neal doing well to push the ball out. That was Stanley's best chance and came in the 69th minute.
They then had two goalmouth scrambles with Stanley unable to capitalise while McEvilly nutmegged Matt Redmile - who he had a physical battle with all game - but crashed the ball into the side netting. And that was that - another away defeat for the inconsistent Reds and more misery for the watching faithful.
"It looks like the lads are tired but we have tried everything - we have given them quite an easy week - but we still looked jaded," sighed Bell. "We tried in the second half to get the ball to Rory but we didn't manage it.
"Just everything seems to be against us and if Lee is not scoring, then it is not going to be our day.
"Mistakes are costing us dearly. They did against Hereford. When we drew last week, I was something of a clairvoyant and said we would get a home tie against someone like Hyde and we would live to regret it. And we did just that. We were lack-lustre in both those games.
"And then we had a plan at Tamworth and it went out the window. We had a plan to be solid and hard to beat and then they would make a mistake and we would benefit. Instead it backfired completely and it was us that made the mistake."