BARNOLDSWICK Town came back from 2-0 down to earn a share of the spoils at Runcorn on Saturday.
Town had a stronger line up than in recent matches, with Neil Chapman and Ash Alderson back, having missed the West Riding Cup win over Armthorpe in midweek.
The match kicked off in bright sunshine, although it soon became apparent that the pitch was very wet, with players on both sides struggling to keep their feet.
Town started well with Liam Blades and Mark Threlfall getting behind the Runcorn defence, but their final ball was often overhit.
Runcorn, in their first real attack, scored after six minutes, as a poor headed clearance from just inside the area went straight to a forward, who squared to Paul Shanley, and his effort deflected off a Town defender into the bottom corner of Marko Marosi’s net.
For the rest of the first half, play was from end to end, with neither goalkeeper unduly troubled until the 33rd minute, when a free kick was given away just outside the Town area, and fired home by the Runcorn full back Danny Toone, again into the bottom corner of Marosi’s net.
It wasn’t until a minute into injury time at the end of the first half that Town gave themselves a lifeline back into the match.
Bill Williams took a long throw, and Karl Wills in the Runcorn goal came just outside his near post to try to punch the ball clear.
Under pressure from Threlfall, he only managed to push it into the middle of his goal, and Lewis Jordan (pictured, s) had no trouble in heading the ball past two defenders on the line.
Town surprised everyone at half-time by making a triple substitution, Williams, Harry Thompson and Jordan all making way for Neil Chapman, Kieron Lee and Aaron Hollindrake.
Town had to survive the first attack from Runcorn when a shot from just outside the box thudded against the right hand post of Marosi, cannoning to safety.
Town, already showing more attacking ideas, saw a shot from Threlfall saved low down by Wills.
For the first 25 minutes of the second half it was all Town, and it was no surprise when they bagged the equaliser after 63 minutes.
A 35-yard shot from Alderson was turned round the post by Wills, and Blades played the corner to the far post, where Billy Priestley managed to prod it back across goal into the far corner past three defenders on the line.
The play from then on was fairly even with both sides winning corners that came to nothing.
The best chances fell to Carl Ellerton who nutmegged Mark Keedie before hitting a fierce shot just wide, and Hollindrake, who from just inside the penalty area cut inside before firing just wide of the near post.
The nearest Runcorn came was when Marosi dallied when preparing to clear, the ball hitting John Toner and going wide of the far post for a goal kick.
In the end a draw was a fair result, and pleasing for Town after being two down.
Tomorrow Town host Maine Road in the FA Vase first round, kick-off 3 p.m.