Friday night was County Night for the first time in three years. But it turned out to be a frustrating one, too, as the Hatters were held by the ‘Bucks’ of Telford.
In the course of a rather disjointed first half featuring relatively few clear-cut chances, the Hatters went closest after just six minutes when Scott Duxbury, acting as a makeshift right-back, met a cross from his left-sided opposite number Connor Hampson - but Duxbury’s half-volley was palmed around the far post by visiting goalkeeper Callum Burton.
County also had a huge let-off midway through the half, after Michael Clarke failed to control the ball - letting in Lee Hughes. Fortunately, however, the veteran striker was unable to add to his considerable goals-tally against the Hatters over the years and fired a low drive wide of the left post.
HALF-TIME: County 0, Telford 0.
An improved performance by the Hatters after the break saw them take the lead after 71 minutes, when Lewis Montrose - with his first-ever League goal for County - sent a low drive through a crowded area and past Burton.
But the joy was short-lived, following the award to Telford of a corner after Montrose appeared to have been impeded near the right by-line. Joel Dielna’s in-swinging delivery then found its way into County’s net, with the possible assistance of a deflection, to leave both sides with a share of the spoils - and the sixth-placed Hatters outside of the play-off positions on goal difference.
FULL-TIME: County 1 (Montrose, 71), Telford 1 (Dielna, 78).
Further report to follow.
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.
Man of the Match: Montrose.
Attendance: 4,261 (98 away).