BILLINGE came away from Middlewich Town with a point on Saturday after a 1-1 draw.

With Middlewich starting the season poorly it was a game that The Storks would have been looking at taking all three points.

However, in truth, the draw was probably the right result with neither team doing enough right to win the match and enough wrong to lose it.

That said Billinge had the ball in the back of the net after just two minutes only for the assistant to flag offside.

Rob Lamont slipped a neat ball through to Nial Dawson who coolly lobbed Charles Masters in the Middlewich goal from 30 yards out.

Unfortunately, VAR has not yet found its way to the Cheshire Football League Premier Division as video evidence later showed that Dawson had timed his run perfectly.

On eight minutes Billinge went close as a superb move resulted in the ball hitting the post.

Lamont and Zak Riley combined well to find Harvey Lambert who shrugged off his defender before crossing to Lamont.

The striker hit an excellent shot that Masters was equal to, as he pushed it away only for his defender Geoff Basford to head against the post in an attempt to clear the ball.

Luckily for The Witches, the ball bounced to safety.

Middlewich had their first attempt on goal on 13 minutes when Billinge's captain Chris Cottington was caught in possession allowing James Smith to cut inside Storks' right back Elliot Bradshaw before hitting his shot just wide of the left upright.

Five minutes later Liam Fitzgerald found Lamont with an ace pass before the striker was hacked down by Jamie Garner earning him a yellow card.

Sadly the resultant free-kick came to nothing.

On 22 minutes The Storks’ keeper Kieran Halliday had to be at his best.

Billinge's left-back Liam Thomas had a lapse of concentration and passed the ball straight to Elliot Booth who took the ball into the box before getting a shot away that Halliday saved well with his feet.

On the half-hour mark, Smith had another effort well saved by Halliday but again the chance came as Billinge gave away possession with Aaron Rice being the culprit this time.

The last action of the half came when Cottington hit a superb ball out of defence, Lamont beat the offside trap but Masters got to the ball just before him.

Cottington had to be at his defensive best four minutes into the second-half clearing a shot off the line after Halliday was left stranded.

It would be another 20 minutes before anything happened as the game entered into a midfield battle, and it was probably apt that this action amounted to an almighty goalmouth scramble that The Storks eventually cleared.

On 73 minutes Billinge were ahead.

Kyle Ross's short corner found its way to Ryan Houghton allowing the substitute to cut inside and unleash a great shot from the edge of the area that came back off the bar.

Middlewich failed to clear it properly and as the ball fell to Rice the centre-half hit a thunderbolt from the edge of the box that nestled into the back of the net.

Five minutes later the usually lethal Ross clipped a shot over the bar from the edge of the box when normally he would expect to finish it.

On 81 minutes The Storks should have sewn up the match.

Dawson found Houghton in acres of space and as the Town keeper didn't know whether to stay or come he slipped the ball into the path of Lamont who elected to chip the ball over the keeper instead of putting his foot through it; the result of which saw the ball spin wide of the post.

Three minutes later Billinge paid the ultimate price as they failed to properly clear a needlessly given away free-kick.

The ball eventually fell to Harry Short who did superbly to get around Thomas, take the return and cross, Lamont helping out his defence was unable to get any power on his clearance and Sam Jackson fired home from six yards.

There was still time for Joe Pointon to fire high over the bar for The Witches, Lamont had a half-chance from a long Thomas throw and from the same Houghton will feel he should have hit the target with a header as it went over the bar.

After the game, Billinge manager said: "It's been a tough August with seven league games.

"Today, Middlewich didn’t give us a minute but we went 1-0 up with a screamer and I thought we’d got away with one.

"To be fair we should’ve put the game to bed but they never gave up and will feel they deserved something out of the game.”

The draw takes Billinge into fourth place in the division and they will be looking to continue their good start to the season when they visit Daten FC next Saturday.