BILLINGE missed a great opportunity to open up a gap at the top of the Cheshire Football League when they lost 3-2 to Daten.

In their first home game for six weeks The Storks squandered a 2-1 lead.

Daten’s two late goals came in the last six minutes and whilst the Billinge management will be concerned that the players didn’t see the game out the truth is the home side were never really in full control of the game and the visitors deserved their victory.

The Storks were ahead in seven minutes when Jamie Anderson threaded a lovely ball through to Phil Dearden who finished neatly from a tight angle for his 15th goal of the season.

Sadly the lead only lasted two minutes as Jack Nolan took advantage of a mix up to level at 1-1.

On 23 minutes Billinge were ahead: A free-kick wasn’t cleared by the Daten defence leaving the lethal Dearden to stab home his second of the match and his 16th of the season.

While The Storks had the better of the remainder of the half they were served a warning when Daten’s Andy Potter shot over the bar when he maybe should have done better.

The second-half turned into a scrappy affair but Daten finished the game the stronger and were level on 84 minutes from a free-kick.

This gave Daten the desire to go forward and on 89 minutes The Storks midfield went missing while the defenders left the visitors substitute Daniel Massey unmarked at the far post and he calmly slotted the ball home to give his side a 3-2 victory.

Billinge manager Matt Potter said: “I thought we would see the game out but for whatever reason we didn’t do so and Daten deserved their victory.”

“We’ve always got goals in us but today we missed a few chances that we would normally put away and that probably cost us as we know Daten are a very good attacking side.

“I don’t like using injuries as an excuse but we have suffered with them in that we haven’t had settled side all season.

“Hopefully we’ll have some key players back in the coming weeks and we’ll start preparing in training for next week’s visit to Greenalls.

The Storks’ loss means that Poynton are now level with Billinge at the top of the division each with 27 points but with the Cheshire side having a game in hand on the Villagers.