Ecstatic Tamworth joint manager Andrew Danylyszyn reckons Tamworth have rubber-stamped their Southern League title credentials with their dramatic turnaround win against Rushall Olympic.
The Lambs were heading for a deserved defeat until a Dan Creaney double turned on the style to snatch a win that had been unthinkable up to that point.
A late Rushall onslaught saw Mitchell Clarke head them in front before Creaney raised the roof, and Tamworth spirits, with an injury-time brace that saw his side leapfrog the Pics in the table.
Danylyszyn admits his side were not at the races for large swathes of the game but believes Tamworth’s second wind proves title talk is more than realistic.
“You’re not going to win a league without digging deep like we have today,” Danylyszyn said.
“You’ll see it this season a lot, it’s the narrow wins that count just as much and you have to win these sorts of games to be in with a shout of winning the league.
“You can’t play well every game. We have learnt more about the character of the players from this game than we would from any others this season.”
Rushall asked questions early on and carved out a chance through Danny Glover who saw his half-volley sail over the bar.
Creaney also blazed a chance over before Ryan Beswick floated a free kick onto the head of Orrin Pendley who could only nod wide against his former club.
Dexter Walters passed up two decent chances to open the scoring late in the first period – firing over the bar before finding the gloves of Tom Palmer with the other.
It was backs to the wall after the break for Tamworth.
Callum Coyle was causing problems for the Lambs and flashed a shot across goal just after the hour mark before a loose pass from Martin Riley allowed him to test Jas Singh moments later.
Tamworth rode their luck again with ten minutes left to play. Coyle thrashed a cross into the box that only needed a touch from Richard Batchelor who was inches away from it.
The stubborn Lambs defence did eventually crumble in the 84th minute under the persistent Rushall pressure when Alex Moore’s corner was powered in by the head of Clarke.
But Tamworth still had a sting in their tail and pulled themselves level in crazy circumstances.
A corner wasn’t dealt with properly by the hosts and as Henri Wilder headed the ball back into the sea of bodies, Creaney somehow find the space to execute an incredible overhead kick to restore parity.
If the leveller was a body blow for the hosts, what came next was a knockout.
Jack Thomas stretched and somehow got on the end of Jack Concannon’s cross to pull the ball back for Creaney to tap in from on the close range – cue wild celebrations from the travelling fans and Tamworth bench.
Danylyszyn added: “The second goal was probably one of my best moments in football because of the manner in which we turned the game around.
“This is a tough place to come so I’m delighted we won the game. We could have folded under the pressure, but the lads have shown character to turn it around late on.”