Cammell Laird 1907 FC faced a very competitive Abbey Hulton United team in the North West Counties First Division South fixture on Saturday and gained a precious point in a robust encounter that required a not-so-lenient match official.
The game began with Lairds dominating proceedings for the opening 25 minutes, but failing to take chances created and suffering challenges best described as ‘committed’.
Against the run of play on a rare breakaway, United capitalised on poor a defensive error and took the lead with their first effort on goal as James Turner netted in the 36th minute.
Lairds, however, fought back, despite being reduced to ten men, with Joe Downey, Ryan Smith, and Kalif Koura posing problems for the visitors and they levelled matters with a smart headed goal by Richard Wincer on the stroke of half time.
The effort shown by the ten men in the second half was excellent and the game swayed both ways as Koura and Frost posed problems for the visitors and Dean Nunn and Lee Rodgers marshalled the home back line to keep the scores level.
But with stoppages creating a lengthy added time to the fixture United pounced in the 90th minute to retake the lead as Turner scored his second goal of the game to create excited celebrations thinking they had won the game.
Lairds were not willing to allow the points to be taken so cruelly and in the 95th minute responded with an equaliser from 17-year-old substitute Charlie Clewlow who eased into the penalty area and scored past the flailing keeper who received chants of ‘careless hands’ by the home supporters amid wild celebrations as the ball entered the net to secure Lairds with a well-deserved share of the spoils.
Lairds now have three games remaining to complete the season, with the first being away to New Mills FC on Saturday 1 April with a 3pm kick off.