STAND-in boss Mike Bridgeman praised the character of Tavistock as they fought back to claim a point with a dramatic comeback at Wellington.
The Lambs should have been dead and buried by the 85th minute with the home side dominant and leading 2-0 after Tom Stone’s bullet header and a Sam Towler penalty after Josh Oak had felled Miles Quick in the penalty box.
But good teams never say die and despite being far from their best, Josh Grant pulled a goal back before Liam Prynn struck a beauty in the first minute of stoppage time to rescue an unlikely point for Tavi.
Bridgeman was taking charge of the team along with Dave Hallett as boss Stuart Henderson and Ken Ord were both away and he paid tribute to the team for their dramatic fightback.
“We came up here with no Stu and no Ken and we had a strong squad to be fair. The warm-up was good, they were buzzing for it but it was a sticky pitch and we didn’t know what to make of it,” Bridgeman said.
“We found it hard in the first half and went a goal down and the lads were a bit despondent in the changing room. Dave and myself had a good chat to them and we thought we got through to them and got the message clear that we needed them to be quicker on the ball, press more and get the ball wider and into spaces and we could create something.
“Then we conceded the penalty, I thought it was a penalty and took it well, and we thought we were dead and buried. But it shows the character of this team to come back and get something.
“The way they are now from two years ago – they really play as a team and get together off the pitch and it is so much better. The character is fantastic and they were two good goals as well. I honestly thought we were going to go on and win it, but it wasn’t to be.
“With Helston and Mousehole losing, that could turn out to be a very good point, but the character the lads showed was brilliant and I am buzzing now!”
The Lambs struggled to get any kind of foothold in the game and could easily have been more than a goal down at the break. They trailed to Stone’s brilliant header from a corner kick and things didn’t get much better after the interval.
Grant pulled one back after a lovely move involving Parry and Prynn and even then, Wellington should have put the game to bed when Douglas Camillo headed wide from close range when he was left totally unmarked at a free kick.
The miss proved costly as Prynn took down Liam Miller’s long pass, cut inside his man and unleashed a brilliant shot from 20 yards that flew into the far corner.
Even then, there was time for Tavi to win it deep into stoppage time, but Josh Parry saw his shot saved at the near post by Shay Allen.
“It wasn’t the best start and in the second half, when we went more direct with the diags, I thought we looked more affective,” Prynn said. “At the end, I think we were unlucky not to get a winner.
“As soon as we got the first goal and made the changes with Josh Parry coming on, I thought we looked more lively and looked like we could get a second or even a third goal.”
The Lambs return to action on Tuesday night when they host Crediton United in the Bayside Graphics St Luke’s Devon Bowl and then head to Keynsham Town in the Western League next Saturday.