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Barnoldswick fight back to snatch away point
Runcorn Town 2 Barnoldswick Town 2
Barnoldswick had to fight back from two goals down to earn an away point against their North West Counties League Premier Division promotion rivals.
Neil Chapman and Ash Alderson returned after missing the 4-1 West Riding Cup win over Armthorpe in midweek as Town fielded their strongest team for some time.
Both sides had difficulty finding their feet on the wet pitch and twice Liam Blades and Mark Threlfall got behind the Runcorn defence before over-hitting their crosses.
Runcorn stunned the visitors by scoring in their first real attack after six minutes. A poor headed clearance was seized upon and Paul Shanley found the net with a shot that was deflected past goalkeeper Marko Marosi.
Play switched from end to end before Runcorn extended their lead after 33 minutes. Full back Danny Toone found the bottom corner of Marosi’s net from a 25-yard free kick.
It wasn’t until a minute into injury time at the end of the first half that Town gave themselves a lifeline. Runcorn goalkeeper Karl Wills, under pressure from Threlfall, punched a Bill Williams long throw into the path of Lewis Jordan who netted from three yards.
It was to prove to be Jordan’s last contribution to the match as Town made a triple substitution. Jordan, Williams and Harry Thompson were replaced by Neil Chapman, Kieron Lee and Aaron Hollindrake for the second half.
Barnoldswick has a let off when a shot from just outside the box thudded against Marosi’s right-hand post before cannoning to safety, but they responded strongly with Threlfall having a shot saved low down by Wills.
The equaliser came after 63 minutes. A 35-yard shot from Alderson had Wills tipping it wide for a corner which Blades floated to the far post where Billy Priestley managed to prod it back across goal into the far corner past three defenders on the line.
Both sides had chances to win the game. Carl Ellerton nut megged Mark Keedie before hitting a fierce shot just wide, and Hollindrake was just off target after cutting in to the penalty area.
The nearest Runcorn came was when Marosi dallied when preparing to clear. His clearance hit John Toner and went just wide of the far post for a goal kick.
Town are in FA Vase action on Saturday whenthey entertain Premier Division rivals Maine Road.