Telford had looked out of it when Keiron St Aimie made it 2-0 to the Lambs with just over twenty minutes to play but inspired substitutions by Andy Sinton paid dividends as Nathan Rooney
and Alex Meechan both climbed off the bench to haul the Bucks level.
Shane Killock was unavailable for selection due to injury, meaning a first start of the season for Stuart Whitehead. Other than that though, the Bucks were unchanged from the side which defeated Newport County on Saturday with Greg Mills and Dwayne Samuels operating down the flanks and Andy Brown ploughing a lone furrow up front.
Telford had a great chance to take the lead in only the second minute at the Lamb. Scott Barrow lost possession in a dangerous area, presenting the ball to Mills on the Telford right. Mills did well to whip in a dangerous cross which found the unmarked Andy Brown in the centre but the Telford striker steered his effort just wide. Indeed, in a high octane opening to this local derby, Phil Trainer then had a shot blocked before Tamworth tested Ryan Young for the first time courtesy of Danny Thomas’ attempted lob.
Tamworth threatened again on 14 minutes when Richard Tait headed wide from Barrow’s left-wing cross before Sean Newton’s free-kick from distance sailed inches wide of Jonathan Hedge’s post. There was then something of a lull in the action as the pace of game relented, although it was Tamworth who forced the next two openings; firstly when Jay Smith curled a free-kick just over on 32 minutes after Dwayne Samuels had been cautioned for a foul and then again when Keiron St Aimie headed over from Ashley Cain’s excellent cross.
Telford had another sight of goal on 38 minutes when Brown’s shot from edge of area was saved by Hedge but it was the home side who drew first blood on 41 minutes, St Aimie finding space on the edge of the box to fire into the bottom corner of Young’s net. The Lambs were certainly finishing the half much the stronger of the two teams and Young needed to be alert in first-half injury-time to clutch Jay Smith’s floated effort and prevent his team from falling further behind.
Once the action resumed Ryan Valentine blasted well over for the Bucks but Tamworth were soon back on the attack as Richard Tait curled a shot just wide and Thomas headed straight at Young on 56 minutes. Indeed with Telford struggling to make any headway in forward areas against a resolute Lambs’ defence, Andy Sinton opted to make an attacking change just before the hour-mark by introducing Alex Meechan for Mills and reverting to a more familiar 4-4-2 formation.
Despite that change though – and the subsequent introduction of young midfielder Nathan Rooney
for full-back Will Salmon – it was the home side who continued to look the stronger. Tamworth nearly extended their lead on 66 minutes as Young made an excellent diving save low to his right to push Tait’s effort round the post. However, that proved to be a brief respite for the Bucks as the Lambs did find a second goal just a minute later; St Aimie smashing past Young from close-range on 67 minutes.
The Bucks looked to be heading for certain defeat at this stage but were galvanised on 71 minutes as Telford pulled a goal back against the run of play. Valentine’s right-wing cross was only half-cleared by Tamworth and the ball dropped to substitute Rooney who drove home from twelve yards. Sinton responded by throwing on Craig Farrell to leave the Bucks with three recognised strikers on the pitch and suddenly the momentum of the game had swung Telford’s way, Farrell’s excellent cross just evading the onrushing Meechan.
In an extraordinary twist, however, Telford – seemingly out of the game after St Aimie had scored the Lambs’ second – were back on level terms on 79 minutes. Whitehead’s long ball was flicked on by Brown and Meechan rounded goalkeeper Hedge before calmly slotting into the net. Telford were suddenly looking the more likely side going forward and Rooney blasted wide from the edge of the box on 87 minutes before Valentine’s whipped cross was glanced wide by Brown shortly.
The lively Rooney saw an effort blocked by the diving challenge of Tait in the final minute as Telford looked to seal an unlikely victory, but Telford were delighted to become the first side to come away from the Lamb with a point this season after staring down the barrel with twenty minutes to go.
1. Jonathan Hedge, 2. Richard Tait, 5. Francino Francis, 7. Jay Smith, 8. Ashley Cain, 10. Keiron St Aimie, 11. Danny Thomas, 12. Liam McDonald, 16. Paul Green, 19. Scott Barrow, 22. Nabil Shariff.
Substitutes: 9. Danny Mills (for Shariff, 85 minutes), 14. Kyle Patterson (for Thomas, 69 minutes), 18. Daniel Bradley (for Smith, 72 minutes), 20. Callum Reynolds, 23. Iyseden Christie.
1. Ryan Young, 2. Will Salmon, 3. Sean Newton, 5. Stuart Whitehead (c), 8. Phil Trainer, 10. Andy Brown, 12. Dwayne Samuels, 16. Dan Preston
, 20. Richard Davies, 23. Ryan Valentine, 24. Greg Mills.
Substitutes: 9. Alex Meechan (for Mills, 58 minutes), 13. Lee Evans (GK), 14. Rob Williams, 15. Nathan Rooney
(for Salmon, 64 minutes), 19. Craig Farrell (for Samuels, 73 minutes).
Referee: Mr D. Handley (Wigan).
Attendance: 1,316 (including 412 away supporters)