Barnoldswick Town player-boss rescues a point with late header

Mark Threlfall tangles with Mucktar Mahama. Picture: Peter Naylor
Mark Threlfall tangles with Mucktar Mahama. Picture: Peter Naylor

A much-improved display earned Town a point against unbeaten AFC Liverpool on Saturday.

Stewart Airdrie named two new signings in the starting line-up, Neil Stansfield and James Crorken both joining from Colne.

Recent signing Ishmael Mills was serving the first of a three-match suspension for being dismissed playing for Eccleshill United.

Town had the first shot at goal after five minutes when Joel Melia tried a shot from just outside the area, which bounced off Liverpool keeper Ryan Jones’ chest, but there was no one from the home side able to take advantage.

A minute later Town keeper Edward Hall had to make a diving save from James Robinson, and Liverpool kept up the pressure, as danger man Ronnie Morgan fired a fierce shot just over the bar.

Liverpool piled on the pressure, and on 23 minutes Ryan Cox should have scored after the ball ran free following a corner.

Two minutes later Hall made a good save from a Steven Williams free kick.

At this point it was all Liverpool, Hall diving to his left to save a Morgan shot at the foot of the post.

Town could have nicked a goal right on half-time as Scott Byrom had a shot deflected wide of the post by Michael Girvan, but the half ended with Liverpool on the front foot.

Hall made a good save, parrying the ball to the far post, and the ball fell invitingly to Cox four yards from the Town goal line, only for Carl Ellerton to make a last-ditch lunge to block the shot, deflecting it almost across goal and past the far post.

Liverpool started the second half well, Cox again in the thick of it as he thundered a shot across Hall’s goal.

Town made a substitution after 65 minutes, Mark Threlfall replaced by Airdrie, but it was Liverpool who scored first, Shaun Airey bringing a Liverpool player down in the penalty area. John Lawless stepped up to take the spot kick. Hall anticipated well and dived to his left to save, but he couldn’t hang on to the ball and Cox was quickly onto the rebound to finish.

With Airdrie beginning to make Town tick, they won a corner with two minutes to go.

Aaron Hollindrake headed the ball on to the back post, Crorken was there unmarked, and when he looked certain to score, his shot was blocked three yards out.

The ball went to the corner of the six yard box at the far post, and Airdrie hurled himself forward and headed firmly past Jones to put the scores level.

The score-line was probably the right one, both teams putting on a good display on an afternoon that had bright sunshine and a couple of heavy showers during the game.

Tomorrow Town are back in league action as they travel to face St Helens Town, kick-off 3 p.m.