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Full-time: Tamworth 2 Hereford United 2
THE sending-off of Marlon Jackson eventually proved too much of a handicap to Hereford who had to settle for a 2-2 draw at The Lamb after surrendering a two-goal interval lead.
Marley Watkins had fired the Bulls into an eighth minute lead before Jackson was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident with Scott Barrow.
Undeterred, the Bulls pushed forward and Harry Pell extended the lead after Watkins had been brought down.
But Tamworth attacked relentlessly after the break and scored three minutes into the half and three minutes from the end through Tommy Wright and Adam Cunnington.
Hereford were able to announce an unchanged for their first away game of the season at The Lamb.
With Ryan Bowman still ruled out with injury, Sean Canham, scorer of the first goal, retained his place in attack.
Up against Canham was former Bull Sam Oji, while goalkeeper James Wren, who had a short spell on trial at Edgar Street last season, was on the Tamworth bench.
Tamworth, playing down the slope, mounted the early attacks with tall striker Adam Cunnington winning a couple of dangerous headers.
Bulls skipper Luke Graham was briefly forced off the field, injured while protecting his keeper Dan Hanford who was preparing to gather a through ball.
Hereford forced the corner on six minutes but Graham was unable to control his header from Simon Clist’s cross.
After eight minutes, Hereford were in the lead.
A long-free-kick from Chris Carruthers reached Watkins on the edge of the area and he held off his marker to lash a low shot into the corner of the net.
Tamworth, however, should have levelled eight minutes later.
A free-kick from the left sailed over the Hereford defence to the unmarked Oji who sliced his shot horribly wide from a great position.
Marlon Jackson had to receive treatment shortly afterwards after a horrid challenge from Lloyd Kerry who was lucky only to receive a yellow card.
Tamworth continued to attack and Dan Hanford pushed a Cunnington shot behind for a corner on 21 minutes.
On 23 minutes, off the ball, Tamworth defender Scott Barrow went to the ground and Jackson was issued with a straight red card.
The home side sought an immediate advantage and Hanford produced a brilliant flying save to deny Kerry.
And the Bulls keeper did well minutes later to leap to grab a cross from Peter Till.
Hanford did brilliantly again on 31 minutes, racing out to block as the unmarked Till looked certin to score from a long through ball.
On 33 minutes, Watkins raced clear into the area at the other end and was brought down by Tom Marshall.
Marshall received a yellow card and Harry Pell side-footed home the spot kick.
Graham did well to head a dangerous cross behind as Tamworth mounted another aerial attack.
Another fine save from Hanford kept the Hereford goal intact when Kerry launched a bullet drive from the edge of the area in first-half stoppage time.
Tamworth made a lively start to the second period and reduced arrears in the 48th minute.
Cunnington got to the by-line and dragged the ball back for Tommy Wright to tap home.
And it was almost all square within seconds when only a last-gasp block by Graham deflected Tills’ shot wide.
But Hereford went close themselves when Watkins dragged the ball across goal with neither Canham nor Sam Clucas able to get the decisive touch.
Watkins continued to be a threat down the right and soon forced another corner with a surging run.
But Wright again came close to equalising on 62 minutes when he stole in to meet a cross unmarked, only to head wide.
Then Hanford was well placed to hold a header from Cunnington who met another of Tamworth’s trademark angled crosses.
Canham was replaced by Tom Nicholls midway through the half and the young striker immediately linked with Pell to win a corner.
But, with Tamworth still making use of their extra man, Hanford had to dive to turn away a Kerry shot.
And the keeper had a more regulation save to make from Wright’s side-footed effort on 79 minutes.
The equaliser arrived three minutes from time.
A skidding drive from Barrow came back off the post and he returned the ball to the middle for Cunnington to head in.
Hereford: 4-4-2: Hanford; Gallinagh, Townsend (Sammons 80), Graham, Carruthers; Watkins, Clist (Stam 70), Pell, Clucas; Canham (Nicholls 67), Jackson. Subs not used: Bittner, McQuilkin.
Tamworth: Breeden, Tait, Oji, Marshall, Gudger (Llado 68); Till, Kerry, Marna, Barrow; Cunnington, Wright. Subs not used: Wren, Ivey-Ward, Bottomer, Collins.
Referee: Richard Martin (Weston-super-Mare).
Attendance: 1,265 (including 373 from Hereford).
Goals: Watkins, 8 min, 0-1; Pell pen, 35 min, 0-2; Wright, 48 min, 1-2; Cunnington, 87 min, 2-2. Red card: Hereford – Jackson, 23 min, serious foul play.
Yellow card: Hereford – Carruthers, time-wasting, 78 min; Tamworth – Kerry, 19 min, foul; Marshall, 34 min, foul.