An end to end game at the Martin & Co Arena, littered with chances for both teams, ended in a 1-1 draw between Gainsborough Trinity and AFC Telford United.
Trinity boss Steve Housham made three enforced changes to the team that lost to AFC Fylde last weekend. Craig Reid and Courtney Wildin made their debuts, replacing the suspended duo of Nathan Jarman and Stephen Brogan.
Marc Newsham was also recalled to the starting line up as Trinity adjusted to life without Anthony Wilson, the former Ferriby man who chose to hang up his boots last week.
Newsham and Reid were chosen to lead the line, with Housham opting for an attack minded 4-4-2 formation against the leagues basement side, with Kane Richards and Jamie Yates asked to provide the ammunition.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for the Blues early on though as the visitors had the dream start on four minutes, when visiting right back Dwayne Samuels was on hand to arrow a finish into the top right of Jan Budtz’ goal following a Tom Tonks long throw, which caused confusion in the Trinity penalty area.
Having fallen behind, Newsham and Reid started to come more into the game without fashioning anything in the way of clear cut chances. It was the latter to mark his debut with a goal to remember, the ball into the box was neatly helped on by Newsham to Reid, who expertly rolled his man and curled the ball beyond Harry Burgoyne in the visiting goal to level things up.
Kane Richards was an outlet for Trinity on the right and he was getting the better of Darren Campion down line, linking well and delivering some testing balls into the Bucks’ box.
Telford themselves looked dangerous on the counter attack and a debutant of their own looked to race away, only to see his progress halted by an offside flag after Simon Russell had stung the palms of Burgoyne after more good link up play between Newsham and Reid.
With Gainsborough trying to keep possession of the ball and work the ball wide, through the full backs from the back, the front pair were reaping more joy, being able to bring the midfield into play in more advanced positions - both sides were intent on throwing bodies in the way to prevent any further addition to the score line.
Soon after the interval and Budtz was called into action, reacting quickly to plunge low to his right to deny Graham Hutchison from another Tonks long throw. Bancessi’s follow up denied by a mass of bodies on the line.
Trinity had a chance of their own soon after, Richards and right back Josh Lacey combining well down the flank before the on loan Chester man played across a teasing ball along the six yard box that strong centre half Curtis Tilt turned against his post. The ball rebounding into play, avoiding any blue shirted player with the goal gaping.
A horrendous back pass by Telford’s Sean Clancy gifted Reid the opportunity to race through on goal, but the former Kidderminster Harriers front man rolled his shot wide of the target when well placed.
Reid was involved again, this time linking neatly with substitute Liam Davis, on in place of Kane Richards. The ex-Grimsby man squaring the ball across the 18 yard box. Yates delayed his shot too long though and his effort was deflected out for a corner.
From the corner a Dom Roma thunderbolt was blocked by a brave Telford defender, who was left needing treatment. With the clock ticking down, Darryn Stamp replaced the hardworking Newsham and one of his first touches saw a speculative 20 yarder loop into the grateful arms of Burgoyne in the visiting goal.
Reid then freed Russell down the right, but he couldn’t pick out a colleague in the centre and Cofie and Samuels both looked to exploit spaces in behind the Trinity back line in quick succession, but Josh Lacey was on hand to defend strongly at the back post.
Budtz was then called into action with a carbon copy of the save he made at the other end of the second half, plunging away to his right to block a near certain goal, bouncing quickly to make a second block in quick succession, the ball falling behind for a late corner for the visitors.
It was during the preparation for the set piece that Curtis Tilt took exception to some tight Trinity marking and reacted in a way that didn’t please referee Paul Graham seeing him receive his marching orders with three minutes, plus added time to play.
There was one final chance for Trinity to snatch all three points. The ball fell kindly for Simon Russell on the edge of the area, making half a yard for himself ‘Scholesy’ zipped a shot towards the bottom corner, only to be denied by the slightest of touches by a full length Burgoyne.
Trinity: Budtz, Roma, Lacey, Wildin, D’Laryea, Picton, Russell, Richards (Davis 62), Newsham (Stamp 75), Reid, Yates. Subs not used: Bembrose, Hedge (GK), Binns.
Telford: Burgoyne, Samuels, Campion, Tonks (Dawson 62), Hutchison (Grogan 70), Tilt, Bancessi (Cofie 54), Rea, Peniket, Rowe, Clancy. Subs not used: Hibbert, Reid.