Match Report by Steve Humbles
Andy Sinton made one enforced change following Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Kidderminster Harriers, with emergency signing Steve Kinniburgh coming in for the injured Sean Newton. Meanwhile Fleetwood – who started the game three points clear of title rivals Wrexham – included non-league football’s hottest property Jamie Vardy in their star-studded starting eleven. Vardy, who began the game with 25 goals already to his name this season, is understood to have been the subject of a £1m bid from a Football League club.
Fleetwood, fielding an attacking 4-3-3 line-up with Vardy, Richard Brodie and Andy Mangan in attack, started brightly with Peter Cavanagh firing wide in the opening seconds. Indeed the Codmen didn’t take long to take the lead, Vardy breaking down the right to square for Mangan who fired past Ryan Young on 4 minutes. Vardy then shot wide on 13 minutes but it got even worse for Telford on the quarter-hour, Richard Brodie’s header onto the bar rebounding to Mangan who netted a second from close-range.
Chris Blackburn headed wide from a free-kick on 22 minutes for Telford, but Vardy hit the post with an angled drive as attack-minded Fleetwood continued to threaten. Marlon Jackson had the ball in the net on 33 minutes for Telford though, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside, and there was a niggly end to half with a string of bookings dished out by referee Bankes.
Vardy rounded Young and forced the goalkeeper to make an excellent recovery save on 54 minutes, and substitute Peter Till forced a superb double save from Young on 66 minutes. However Telford then enjoyed their best spell of the game, with Kinniburgh’s looping free-kick saved on 69 minutes before Sharp nearly latched onto a Steve McNulty error on 70 minutes only for Davies to race off his line and smother.
Telford were back in the game on 73 minutes in extraordinary fashion. Referee Bankes initially gave Telford a penalty for a foul on Brown, only for the linesman to call the referee over and indicate that contact was outside the penalty area. However Telford were not to be denied and Brown stepped up to strike the resulting free-kick over the wall and beyond Davies.
Nathan Pond turned and forced a good save from Young but Telford were looking good value for a leveller at that stage. However, just as the Bucks looked set to claim an unlikely point, Vardy showed his quality with a superb individual effort on 83 minutes. There seemed little danger when the Fleetwood man picked up possession thirty yards from goal, but he surged past several defenders before striking a fierce shot past Young.
Marlon Jackson skied over for Telford but Vardy put a slightly unfair tint on the scoreline in injury-time with another superbly-taken goal, breaking through before slotting neatly past Young.
1. Ryan Young, 2. Will Salmon, 8. Phil Trainer, 9. Kyle Perry, 13. Steve Kinniburgh, 16. Dan Preston
, 18. Chris Blackburn, 19. Marlon Jackson, 20. Richard Davies, 22. Jonathan Brown, 25. Chris Sharp.
Substitutes: 6. Shane Killock (for Kinniburgh, 90 minutes), 21. Ryan Brooke (for Perry, 61 minutes), 27. Jay Smith, 28. Ashley Cain (for Davies, 81 minutes), 32. Ryan Robinson (GK).
1. Scott Davies, 2. Shaun Beeley, 5. Steve McNulty (c), 6. Nathan Pond, 9. Richard Brodie, 13. Alan Goodall, 14. Andy Mangan, 18. Jamie McGuire, 26. Peter Cavanagh, 27. Lee Fowler, 33. Jamie Vardy.
Substitutes: 10. Magno Vieira, 11. Peter Till (for Brodie, 65 minutes), 19. Gareth Seddon, 23. Kieran Charnock, 34. Dave Stevenson (GK).
Mr Peter Bankes (Merseyside)