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Match Report and Pics: County 1-1 AFC Telford

Posted: Sat 15 Apr 2017
Author: Gareth Evans

Draw With Bucks Leaves County Feeling Like Cross Bunnies


Friday night was County Night for the first time in three years. But it turned out to be a frustrating one, and, ultimately, a not-so-Good Friday, as the Hatters were held by the 'Bucks' of Telford in the first match of their Easter weekend programme.
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The Hatters went into the game knowing that, in view of results from earlier in the day, a win would propel them into a play-off place with a two-point cushion. But as things turned out, they had to settle for a more modest rise from seventh to sixth - and, moreover, for remaining outside of the play-offs on goal difference.
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County took to the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and showing three changes from the side that had started at Gainsborough six days previously. Sam Minihan and Kaine Felix were ruled out with, respectively, a groin injury and a bruised foot, while Sefton Gonzales dropped to the bench - with their places being taken by Scott Duxbury, Courtney Meppen-Walters and Josh Amis.
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In the course of a rather disjointed first half featuring relatively few clear-cut chances, the Hatters went closest after just six minutes when Duxbury, acting as a makeshift right-back, met a cross from his left-sided opposite number Connor Hampson - but the former's half-volley was palmed around the far post by visiting goalkeeper Callum Burton.
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County also had a huge let-off midway through the half, after Michael Clarke failed to control the ball - letting in Lee Hughes. But, to the considerable relief of a bumper holiday home crowd, the veteran striker was unable to add to his goals-tally for various West Midlands clubs against the Hatters over the years, and fired a low drive wide of the left post.

HALF-TIME: County 0, Telford 0.
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The reverse fixture between the two sides at Telford back in August had ended goal-less, and this match appeared destined for a similar fate as it entered its final 20 minutes - despite an improved performance by the Hatters, with a 4-4-2 line-up, after the break.
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But to the delight of the majority in attendance, County took the lead after 71 minutes, when Lewis Montrose - with his first-ever League goal for the Hatters - sent a low drive through a crowded area and past Burton.

The joy was short-lived, however, following the award to Telford of a corner after Montrose appeared to have been impeded near the right by-line.

French defender Joël Dielna's in-swinging delivery then found its way into County's net, with the assistance of a deflection, to leave both sides with a share of the spoils.

FULL-TIME: County 1 (Montrose, 71), Telford 1 (Dielna, 78).

Team: Hinchliffe, Duxbury, Hampson (Gonzales, 46), Montrose, Clarke, Ross (Capt.), Meppen-Walters (Cartwright, 90 + 2), Winter (Odejayi, 89), Amis, Ball, Lloyd.

Unused Subs: Ormson, Brazel.

Booked: Lloyd.

Man of the Match: Montrose.

Attendance: 4,261 (88 away).