Azam arrives at the double to rescue Nelson

Waqas Azam scored both Nelson goals
Waqas Azam scored both Nelson goals

In demand Blues full back Waqas Azam took his tally to seven for the season as his double helped Nelson salvage a point against Bootle.

Boss Paul Fildes made five changes for the fixture at Victoria Park with Accrington Stanley loanee Jack Hartley given the nod as well as goalkeeper Callum Jakovlevs.

The hosts were first to threaten when skipper Luke Thompson drew a fine save from Sam Ramsbottom when surging forward from defence to meet a corner.

The breakthrough came in the 20th minute as Bootle captain Liam Loughlin capitalised on Nelson’s failure to clear their lines from a set-piece by curling a left-footed shot past Jakovlevs.

The away side then extended their lead just after the half hour mark when another lapse in concentration and conviction at the back allowed Tom Peters to beat Jakovlevs by his right hand upright.

Fildes demanded a response after the break though he had to wait patiently to see it.

The Merseysiders continued from where they had left off and applied the pressure in hope of putting the game beyond Nelson’s reach.

After Ramsbottom was equal to Hartley’s speculative drive from distance, Jakovlevs made a fine save to deny Dominic Marie.

At that point Fildes opted to ring the changes with Bradley Wicks and Ryan Charnley making way for Adam Nuttall and Martin Broderick.

Soon after the home side halved the deficit when former Clarets youngster Waqas beat Ramsbottom with a brilliant free kick with 20 minutes of the North West Counties Premier Division fixture remaining.

The strike breathed new life in to the Blues as they chased an equaliser.

Another change saw Karl Dorney replace Will Threlkeld and the substitute was involved immediately, forcing Ramsbottom to palm away his centre which just eluded Hartley at the far post.

Nelson continued to probe as the clock ticked down and their persistence would finally be rewarded.

As the game crept in to stoppage time the home side were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area.

Waqas again took responsibility and guided the ball beautifully beyond the wall and Ramsbottom to make it 2-2.

The Blues host Cammell Laird tomorrow (kick off 3 p.m.).