Hargreaves rescues a point for Barnoldswick Town

Town were convinced that Shaun Airey's header late on crossed the line
Town were convinced that Shaun Airey's header late on crossed the line

Barnoldswick Town claimed a late equaliser at Congleton Town on Saturday through Gareth Hargreaves.

Danny Craig’s side twice went close in the first half, as striker Zack Dale was denied by the woodwork on both occasions.

He first beat keeper Ross Heywood with a sublime chip, but his effort bounced back off the bar.

And he had similar luck shortly after as a free kick was cleared by Congleton defender to Ian Willis, to Dale, whose volley again struck the bar.

Congleton had their best opening moments before the break, as Ryan Hibbert flicked a Rick Bailey header over the top.

The second half was a similar struggle for both sides, though Town again had a decent sight of goal as they worked a chance for Aaron Hollindrake down the left, and he dragged his shot wide.

Just before the hour, the hosts got their noses in front out of the blue.

A corner from Callam Gardner picked out Hibbert, whose thumping header beat Jordan Gidley all ends up.

The goal prompted an impressive response from Barnoldswick, who penned Congleton in as they searched for an equaliser.

Ben Gorman went close with an effort from distance, before he came in from the right and forced a good stop from home keeper Ross Heywood.

It looked like one of those days for Town as Dale had an effort turned over by Heywood, and Jonathan Hodgkinson saw a header from a corner cleared off the foot of the post by Ian Willis.

But four minutes from time, Barnoldswick’s persistence paid off.

Jake McEneaney took a throw in from the left, and substitute Hargreaves watched it across his body and rifled the ball into the roof of the net.

Town might have nicked all three points as Shaun Airey’s header from a corner was deflected onto the bar by Willis, with claims the ball then dropped over the line.

Town are back in action on Saturday with Craig’s first home game against Barnton.