GARRY HILL admits he could have made eight half-time changes as Woking failed to recover from a nightmare start at Kingfield.
A goal apiece from Tommy Wright and Adam Cunnington gave Tamworth a 2-0 lead inside the opening 23 minutes.
The Cards deservedly trailed at the break but Kevin Betsy dragged them back into it with a 56th minute tap in.
Gavin McCallum looked to have squared things up eight minutes later but his close-range effort was adjudged not to have crossed the line by referee Dean Treleaven.
And with the protests still ringing in the officials’ ears Tamworth scored a decisive third through George Baldock.
Mike Cestor bundled in a 94th-minute consolation but it was too little too late for the Cards whose four-match unbeaten run came to a sour end.
Hill suggested fatigue and a congested fixture programme were starting to have an effect on his small squad and said he was looking forward to a quieter October.
He added: “I like a standard irrespective of the result and I didn’t think we showed the style and the commitment that we’ve had in previous games.
“We’ve set very high standards in the last 18 months and we haven’t done enough today. We weren’t at the races in the first 45 today and I could have taken eight players off at half-time.
“We knew it was going to be tough – we’ve played 12 games in seven weeks and we’re a part-time club in a full-time league.
“I see signs in the last one or two games that a little bit of fatigue and weariness has been creeping in.
“That hurts because those players have given everything but we’ve got to keep going.
“Heading into October we don’t have two games a week. Subject to cup replays we only have five games in October and I’m sure that little bit of a break could help us a bit.”
Tamworth exploded into life in the eighth minute when Wright lost his man in the area to turn home Lloyd Kerry’s cross-goal volley.
Woking’s first real chance came when Betsy was hacked down on the edge of the box, but Joe McNerney failed to make a meaningful connection and his tame set-piece flew into the wall.
Cards’ midfield trio of Jack Parkinson, Mark Ricketts and Jay Davies were all but anonymous in a far from memorable opening 45.
And they all went missing as Tamworth doubled their lead in the 23rd minute.
Kerry was allowed to turn provider again and threaded a ball through Woking’s ragged back line.
And despite the challenge of three defenders, Cunnington switched on the afterburners to collect the pass and drill past Aaron Howe from 18 yards.
The Cards offered little creativity in the absence of the suspended Lee Sawyer and it was not until the 38th minute that they registered their first shot on target.
Adam Newton cleanly caught a speculative left-foot volley from down the right but the sizzling effort flew straight into the gloves of Tony Breeden.
Cards could have felt aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty when John Dempster showed all his basketball prowess to hook the ball away from Betsy in the area with his hand.
But regardless of the referee’s dubious performance Woking were not worth anything in a drab first-half and quite rightly went in two goals down at the break.
Hill shook things up after the break and within 30 seconds of Loick Pires coming on in place of the ineffective Davies, the Cards had pulled one back.
Pires scampered free down the left and cut back for McCallum.
The forward’s shot was well saved by Breeden but the keeper could only palm the ball into the path of Betsy who tapped home in the 56th minute.
With the game turned on its head Parkinson came within a whisker of making it 2-2 but his header at the back post from McCallum’s corner sailed just wide.
And Cards thought they were level in the 64th minute when McCallum looked to have forced Bradley Bubb’s low cross over the line.
But the Canadian striker failed to make a clean connection and from a yard out allowed Breeden to make a save.
Cards’ celebrations failed to convince Treleaven and the referee waved play on.
Hill said he had no complaints about the final score but suggested the outcome would have been different had McCallum lashed home his golden opportunity.
He said: “There shouldn’t have been a debate of whether the ball was over the line or not.
“The ball should have been in the back of the net and I think if we score there we would go and take a good result out of the match.
“We probably had, over the 90 minutes, as many if not more chances than them but we’ve been punished.”
With a host of Woking players out of position Tamworth surged forward and eased their own concerns with a vital third.
Baldock wriggled free in the box and thumped past Howe, completely undoing the Cards’ second-half industry.
Seven minutes from time Woking could have pulled one back but Ricketts stabbed agonisingly wide when Breeden spilled Betsy’s cross.
They did seal a late consolation when substitute Mike Cestor bundled in from McNerney’s drilled free-kick.