Dunstable Town made it five games without defeat on Thursday with a draw against AFC Rushden & Diamonds of the Southern League Premier Division Central, but they had to fight back from a two-goal deficit to do so, on a gloriously sunny evening at Creasey Park.
The opening stages were uneventful until a pinpoint cross from the left was met with a perfectly placed header by Will Jones of Rushden, giving the visitors the lead.
The Blues responded well, and with Chris Stapleton holding up play before cutting back for Tyler Fry to drive a daisy-cutter narrowly wide, came close to levelling. Shortly afterwards and Fry was involved again, this time failing to get on the end of a perfect ball across the face of goal, any touch at all would surely have seen an equaliser.
Just short of the twenty-minute mark, it looked as though Dunstable would rue those missed chances. Ben Diamond played the ball to goalscorer Jones, who took a touch and blasted the ball into the top corner at the near post, leaving the home goalkeeper helpless.
Tyler Fry's early exertions paid off eight minutes later, leaping well to loop a header past the rooted Diamonds goalkeeper, bringing the Blues right back into the game.
Lorrell Smith came close to restoring the visitors two-goal lead before half-time, his thundering shot crashing off the crossbar via the fingertips of the goalkeeper's gloves.
Some close calls early in the second half were weathered by the Blues before Fry whipped in a low free-kick diagonally across the box, getting all the way through to Stapleton who diverted the ball back across goal into the bottom corner. Dunstable were deservedly level.
Having already scored a brace, Will Jones was forced off in the last half hour with a knock, but that didn't mean a lack of attacking flair for the away side, with the appropriately named Ben Diamond creating, and Jesse Akubuine having his effort blocked.
Both teams maintained a will to get a winning goal into the late stages, a number of substitutions ensuring the pace of the game remained high. Will Glennon came closest to getting that elusive winner in the dying minutes, heading just to the left of the frame from a corner on the right.
Another encouraging result for Gareth Jackson's Blues, against higher ranked opposition. Dunstable conclude their pre-season on Saturday with a friendly against Berkhamsted Comrades, before Tuesday's season opener, when Milton Keynes Irish visit Creasey Park.
Written by Patrick MacKay
Photos by Cupcake 99 Photography