WORCESTER City staged a stunning second-half fightback to secure a share of the spoils against high-flying visitors Shepshed Dynamo.

The hosts looked dead and buried at the break but the introduction of half-time substitutes Kaoui Attounami and James Lemon turned the game in their favour and had City made the most of their chances they would have been celebrating all three points.

Lemon hit the equaliser and had chances to add to his tally while Attounami bossed the midfield.

But rather than taking credit for the inspired changes at the break assistant boss Ash Vincent confessed that the decision had been taken for them - by the referee’s display.

He explained: “We were a little bit forced into the substitutions.

"We were a little lacklustre in the first half and what we didn’t want to do was end up with 10 men because the way the game was being played and the way the decisions were going then we could see that someone was going to go.

"So for a safety net we decided to take off our players who were on bookings.

“That seemed to kick us into life and those two players who came on were our two best players - not only for 45 minutes but through the whole game by a country mile.

"Big K (Attounami) was fantastic in midfield and I’m delighted for Lemmo (Lemon) because he has had a bit of a tough time since coming here.

“I’m not sure if it is a bit of a confidence thing but if you look at the goal he scored, previously he would have played it out wide for someone to cross rather than wrapping his foot around it.

"To be fair he’s then had another four chances and should have got another two goals at least.

“He’s disappointed and we’re disappointed because we want him to take one of them but as a forward you worry when the chances aren’t coming - he’s had five on Saturday and taken one.

"Next time he could have five and take two. That’s how he has to look at it.”

Shepshed were the better side in the first half and deservedly went in with a 1-0 lead after Jordan Wilson slotted home midway through the half after latching on to Sam Moore’s pass.

City burst into life after the break though with Lemon having a goal ruled out before levelling on 54 minutes, Attounami inevitably with the assist.

The rest of the half was a thrill-a-minute end-to-end feast for the neutral.

Lemon could easily have finished with a hat-trick and Callum McFarlane hit the crossbar while at the other end McFarlane cleared a Wilson shot off the line.

City keeper Sam Gilder kept out a penalty from the same player before tipping another Wilson effort acrobatically over the bar.

Referee Richard Cutts had managed to anger both sets of players and benches with some obtuse decisions throughout, none more so than the late red card he showed to Worcester skipper Luke English after he picked up a second booking.

Vincent admitted the dismissal was hard to take particularly in light of some of the earlier challenges.

“I’m really disappointed with the sending off,” he said.

"Their number seven has been booked and then made two more yellow card challenges and not been booked so has stayed on the pitch for the whole game.

"Luke’s second booking is right at the end of the game and in light of all the things we’ve seen out there it was harsh.

“We are answerable so I’d like officials to come out and say why or be honest enough to say they might have got it wrong.

"That sending off after what has happened throughout the game is a harsh one.

"We all make mistakes - their goal is quite obviously a long way offside and there were some decisions that really went against us.”

Worcester: Gilder 6.5, English 6.5, McFarlane 5.5, Sinclair 5.5, Roberts 6.5, Hall 6.5, Lockett 7, Andoh 6, Harrison 5 (Lemon 46, 7), Moran 6 (Bates 80, 5.5), Weir 5.5 (ATTOUNAMI 46, 7.5). Subs not used: Caines, Lawrence.

Shepshed: Ganley 6, Doy 7, Acott 5.5 (Hill 80, 5.5), Pheasant 7, Betts 6.5, Prenderville 5.5, Moore 7 (Day 90+4, 5), Hurst 5 (Patrocinio 64, 6), Whymark 6, Wilson 6.5, Thomas 5.5. Sub not used: Wakeling.

Referee: Richard Cutts.

City star man: Kaoui Attounami.