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Spennymoor Town 2 AFC Telford 3 - Report and pictures

A Daniel Udoh double across three second-half minutes laid the foundation for a terrific Bucks away win, but only after harsh words from manager Gavin Cowan at half-time.

The Bucks made three changes to the team that defeated Brackley Town in midweek; goalkeeper Max Bramley returned in place of Sheridan Martinez, whilst Jonathan Royle and Amari Morgan- Smith replaced Henry Cowans and Andre Brown.

With Spennymoor presenting a more robust physical challenge on a sloping playing surface, the thought was that Royle and Morgan-Smith would add a little more muscle.

Mark Anderson put the home side ahead on the half-hour, as his team started to find their rhythm.

An attack down the right side was prompted by former Buck Jake Hibbs, on as a substitute for injured right-back Callum Williams; when the ball was transferred infield, Mark Anderson turned his marker on the edge of the box and his crisp, left-footed shot went low and to Max Bramley’s left, find the bottom corner.

The goal gave the Moors a tailwind, kicking down the considerable slop at Brewery Field, and further efforts on goal followed in what remained of the half, without Bramley being seriously tested between the posts.

Referee Dean Hulme awarded a succession of free-kicks near to the edge of the Bucks’ penalty area, but luckily neither Stephen Brogan nor goal scorer Anderson could find their range.

Manager Cowan admitted that his half-time team talk was probably his most animated so far this season, but it worked, and his side looked far sharper in the second half, aided by kicking down the slope.

They started to use their possession much better, and on 56 minutes they were level.

A cross from the right was met by the head of Amari Morgan-Smith, forcing a full-length save from Moors keeper Matt Gould; unfortunately for Gould he parried it straight to Daniel Udoh, who tapped into an unguarded net.

Amazingly, within two minutes of that the Bucks led. It was again a duel between Udoh and Gould, the former put through on goal, and the keeper saved the forward’s effort but saw it rebound off Udoh and run into the net.

The Bucks were now in control, and the Moors were rocked back on their heels by the quick one-two they’d been hit with.

Things got worse for them on 77 minutes, when the Bucks established a two-goal lead.

Substitute Adam Dawson toyed with the home defence on the left edge of the box and then rolled the ball back for Ellis Deeney on the edge of the penalty area. His shot took a hefty deflection and Gould was beaten once more, wrong-footed as he watched the ball go past him.

That should have been it for the Bucks, but on 81 minutes Ryan Sears, who had just been fouled by Glen Taylor, delayed the restart of the game and was shown a second yellow card. Cowan sacrificed Morgan-Smith up front to bring on Dom Smith at right back, but the Moors sensed just a hint of a chance.

The Bucks, marshalled once again by Shane Sutton and Theo Streete, kept them at bay, but on 89 minutes home substitute David Foley lashed home from six yards after Max Bramley couldn’t hold a Moors effort.

The Bucks now had five added minutes to see out, and things got nervy. Bramley was yellow-carded trying to run the clock down, and Streete saw yellow too.

Mark Anderson put a free-kick just wide of the bottom right-hand of the goal, then in the final minute of injury time another free-kick gave them one final chance.

The Bucks wall held firm and the referee ended the agony for the 40 Bucks fans in attendance.

Another game without defeat, three goals and once again that all-important character that Cowan demands were on show.

The manager himself stresses it is early days in the season, but the signs are hugely positive.

Teams

Bucks: Bramley, White, Sears, Deeney, Sutton (c), Streete, Royle, McQuilkin, Morgan-Smith, Udoh, Knights.

Substitutes: Dawson, Wycherley (gk), Smith, Brown, Cowans.

Bookings: Sears, Deeney, Bramley, Streete.

Dismissal: Sears (81).

Scorer: Udoh (56,58), Deeney (77).

Spennymoor Town: Gould, Williams (Hibbs 25), Brogan, Chandler, Atkinson, Curtis (c), Boyes, Henry, Taylor, Anderson, Ramshaw.

Substitutes: Thackray, Elliott, Foley, Johnson.

Bookings: Hibbs, Ramshaw.

Scorer: Anderson (30), Foley (89).

Referee: Dean Hulme.

Attendance: 600 (40 from Telford)

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