Buckingham Town claimed their first point of the season in a 2-2 home draw with early pace setters Wellingborough Whitworth at Manor Fields.
The Robins gave debuts to defenders Derek Brown and Joe Donaldson, while Andy Cleere was pushed into a striker’s role for the injured Drew Mitten.
Buckingham started brightly and took the lead on nine minutes when Cleere showed great pace to chase down a clipped ball into the channel before he raced beyond the visiting defence and calmly slotted home.
Just two minutes later Whitworth equalised after a mistake from Town ‘keeper Rokus Jasiulevicius allowed the forward to have the easiest of finishes.
The visitors went ahead from a corner, but the Robins pulled level when Akin Iluyemi played through Cleere, who unselfishly squared to Joel McCormick and the skipper made no mistake from close range.
Both sides had chances in an open second period but the two defences stood firm.
Town boss Chris Robson said afterwards: “I was pleased with today’s performance.
“We’ve had two defeats on the bounce and it was important we didn’t lose a third, so we asked the lads not to play football in our own half and get the ball forward to our attacking players quickly and they had the freedom to play attractive football and express themselves.
“I felt defensively we were superb. Derek and Joe had outstanding debuts at centre-back.
“Going forward we have had no problem since I took charge and again today was no different. I was so pleased for Andy when he scored as he has played out of position since he came to the club but his work-rate and attitude has been spot on.
“We have had a very tough opening to the season against three of the fancied teams, but I feel we have more than matched them and the only reason we do not have maximum points is down to our own mistakes.
“We will continue to work on this area and once we get it right we will have one hell of our team on our hands.”
In other news, Buckingham have been drawn away to Great Linford in the first round of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup on Saturday, September 13.
The club are urging fans to attend this Saturday’s game against Burton Park Wanderers. They are happy to help supporters by offering lifts to the ground. Contact Darren Seaton on 07808 792486 for details.