BILLINGE had to settle for a share of the points when they drew 2-2 at home with Lostock Gralam in an excellent encounter - played for the most part in torrential rain.

The visitors came into the match on the back of four straight wins and The Storks knew they would have to be at their best to get anything out of the game.

As it was Billinge started the brighter and on seven minutes were ahead when Aaron Bowen got on the end of a great through ball and coolly slotted past Dane Rigby in The Grey Lambs goal.

It was almost 2-0 five minutes later when Bowen took the ball around Rigby but his shot - from a tight angle - hit the side netting.

On 21 minutes it was The Storks' keeper Joe Wileiams that was called into action as the debutant pulled off a couple of cracking saves.

As it was he could do little about Lostock's equaliser on 37 minutes.

Billinge lost possession high up the pitch from which the visitors broke swiftly before Jordan Johnson steered the ball home at the near post.

If Billinge were quick out of the blocks in the first-half then it was Lostock's turn in the second period as they went ahead straight from the restart through Jonathan Jones.

The Storks response was immediate as Bowen fired over the bar when through, Jason McShane almost got on the end of a cross while Rob Lamont tested Rigby from long-range.

On 73 minutes Billinge were dealt a blow when defender James Duke caught a boot in his head in the penalty box and had to be substituted with a cut eye. It seemed to all watching that it was a penalty but the assistant referee was flagging for a reason unknown to observers and the spot-kick was denied.

The Storks reorganised and kept pressing for an equaliser.

McShane had a great chance and then in the final minute of the 90 Billinge skipper Zak Riley brilliantly headed home a pinpoint cross from substitute James Webb to send The Storks players, management and support into ecstasy.

There was still eight-plus minutes of added time to negotiate but the score remained 2-2 giving both teams a well-earned point.

After the game Billinge's player-manager Wayne Wardle said: "It was a good battling performance from The Storks against an inform Lostock - especially as we had three lads making their debuts - and I have to be pleased with that.

"Both teams had chances to win it but on reflection I think a draw was a fair result."

Billinge's man of the match sponsored by First Choice Concrete & Skip Hire went to Joe Andrews who was outstanding for the whole 90 minutes in his final game for a while due to the versatile defender moving to South Wales to further his career.

The club sends him their best wishes and he will be greatly missed for his ability and bubbly nature in and around the dressing room.

This coming Saturday The Storks take on Knutsford in a 2pm kick-off at Barrows Farm.