STEETON ground out a hard-fought point at home against promotion-chasing Holker Old Boys on Saturday in the North West Counties Football League First Division North.

In what was the Chevrons’ first goalless draw in 1,499 days, they kept an Old Boys side arriving on a seven-game winning streak at bay to take a share of the spoils on a cold and wet afternoon.

The result proved testament to a decimated squad that left Roy Mason with only fifteen available players.

With Jack Lynn and Ben McCready injured, Josh McKiernon suspended and both Luke Baldwin and Ezio De Santis unavailable, debuts were handed to new signings George Gomersall and Isaac Acquah.

There was also a welcome return for Arale Mohamed, who was back from injury following a month on the sidelines.

Holker began the afternoon brightly and were denied twice in the opening ten minutes by two fantastic saves from James Catlow.

Steeton’s keeper first denied Tom Stephenson from a free-kick with an excellent diving stop to his left before managing to prevent a header from Frankie Ellis dipping under the crossbar.

At the other end, the Old Boys had two strong penalty appeals against them.

Surviving a handball shout to turn the ball away from the corner, the set piece brought with it another claim waved away by the officials, as Mohamed went down under pressure just inside the area.

In a first half lacking in both chances and creativity, the only other real opportunity came from the home side.

Jake Townsend cut inside to get through on goal, with his strike rattling the side netting.

The second half saw an upturn in the ability on show from both sides, but in truth a goal never looked likely to come.

Holker survived a third penalty appeal five minutes after the restart when the ball appeared to strike the arm of Luke Mitchell as Mohamed fired towards goal.

That came off the back of some superb link-up play down the left channel with Acquah, but the referee again waved the shout away from those in green and white.

Riding their luck in defence, the Old Boys launched a counter-attack and nearly found the opening goal, but they were denied by Catlow as the keeper made an excellent fingertip save to turn the ball over the crossbar for a corner.

This shifted momentum in the visitors’ direction and they squandered two excellent opportunities to break the deadlock.

Ellis somehow turned the ball wide with the goal at his mercy at the far post and just a minute later, Stephenson saw his cross-cum-shot strike the crossbar.

Steeton in turn created two half-chances, Josh Walne and Toby Jeffrey putting the ball agonisingly wide of the far post after superb runs down the right wing.

In the middle of the park, Gomersall’s Chevvies debut brought with it a yellow card for a tactical foul on Stephenson as the Holker midfielder looked to launch a counter-attack on halfway.

Late on, Steeton had their best chance of the afternoon.

Flowing football, launched from the back by man of the match Alfie Gibbon, allowed the home side to build the attack to the edge of the Holker area.

Townsend picked up the ball and fired from range, with his shot striking the upright.

The rebound almost went in off Holker goalkeeper Finley Martin, the ball hitting his back after coming back off then woodwork, but fortunately for him, it spun out for a corner.

The game fizzled out thereafter, with a point apiece probably the fair result.

Steeton’s next game is a mid-table league clash at Lancashire outfit Darwen on Saturday.