Injury-plagued Barnoldswick Town earned a good point at in-form St Helens Town on Tuesday night.
Aaron Hollindrake, Mark Threlfall and Paul Cruz were all unavailable for various reasons, with Daniel Thorpe stepping in to plug the gap in goal.
St Helens hadn’t lost in the last nine games, but Town had the first strike at goal after four minutes, as a corner led to a shot from Kieran Fletcher, which was blocked on the edge of the six-yard box.
At the other end, Michael Sykes-Wright saw his shot flash just wide.
The Town defence was caught napping on 11 minutes, however, as a swift St Helens attack saw Andrew Gillespie pick up the ball and drive into the area, and he beat Thorpe at his near post.
St Helens threatened again, with Adam Storey drawing a decent save out of Thorpe.
A promising Town move saw a Danny Morton shot blocked, and Bill Williams was forced into a tremendous block just inside the area from a Storey shot, with the ball rebounding to Sykes-Wright, who saw his shot clear the bar.
Town had a great chance to equalise on the half hour mark, Samuel Howell putting Kieran Lee through clear on Ciaran Gibson’s goal, but he somehow failed to get a shot on goal and a defender cleared.
Hemade amends two minutes before half-time, as Danny Morton slipped the ball sidewards, Lee thumping the ball into the far corner.
St Helens almost regained the lead before the interval as Fletcher was robbed just inside his own half, and Thorpe was forced to tip the ball over.
The second half started with Fletcher shooting from just outside the penalty area, Gibson fumbling the ball, but recovering well.
Thorpe then dived to take the ball off Storey’s feet just outside the six-yard box.
Town nearly stole it in injury time, first Shaun Judge making a brilliant block to a Paul Fildes shot, before Morton dragged his shot just wide.
On Saturday, Town were knocked out of the NWCFL Challemge Cup 1-0 at Runcorn Linnets, with forward Mark Threlfall in goal with Billy Carrington and Lyle Davy unavailable. Runcorn scored after four minutes. and this proved the only goal of the game, with Threlfall underworked.
Linnets were reduced to 10 men after 75 minutes for a reckless challenge.
Town host Abbey Hey tomorrow before a home West Riding County Cup second round tie with Albion Sports on Tuesday.