IT was a game of two halves at Barrows Farm on Saturday when Billinge came from two goals behind to gain a valuable draw with Daten in the JB Parker Cup.

On a glorious day, The Storks were forced to introduce a battling side to their game to get something and they sure did that as they pulled back the deficit and - with a little luck could have won it.

There was no indication that Billinge would struggle as they started the game brightly when a second-minute Liam Thomas free-kick was superbly tipped over the bar by Daten keeper Jack Trubshaw.

From the resultant corner Rob Lamont found himself free but headed wide.

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It was all Billinge and a minute later, Lamont, Niall Dawson and Liam Fitzgerald all had shots blocked before Fitzgerald was fouled on the edge of the box.

The player got up and took the free-kick but his effort was - uncharacteristically - weak and Trubshaw easily dealt with it.

Daten had their first attack of the game in the 13th minute but Joe Barker shot straight at The Storks custodian, Kieran Halliday.

A minute later the visitors were ahead when Billinge defender Aaron Rice failed to deal with a routine ball down the touchline and in trying to redeem for his mistake he then pushed over Adam Cahillane for a blatant penalty.

It was left to Adam Campbell to step up and put The Atoms ahead.

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On 25 yards Billinge had a glorious chance to equalise when Zak Riley played a beautiful ball though to Marios Avraam but his cross just evaded the onrushing Lamont.

Ten minutes later Campbell brought the best out of Halliday as The Storks keeper tipped his excellent free-kick over the bar.

It was the Daten keeper who was next to feature in the action as Thomas's corner was headed fiercely onto the post by his teammate Trystan Jones.

The ball was then knocked back into the box, Richie Allen back-headed it against the bar but as he was doing so was cleaned out by Trubshaw looking for all the world like a penalty but the officials thought otherwise.

With half-time approaching Lamont volleyed over from distance and then neatly headed a ball into Avraam's path who took the shot on and bought a magnificent save out of Trubshaw.

From the resultant corner disaster befell The Storks as Thomas got caught in possession, Daten broke away and Barker finished expertly to give the visitors a two-goal cushion at the break.

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Whatever was said by the Billinge management at half-time seemed to work as Avraam and Lamont both immediately went close and on 52 minutes they halved the deficit when Trubshaw failed to deal with Dawson's free-kick leaving Riley to head home.

Moments later Lamont hit a shot over the bar before Danny Murphy did just the same - but on 66 minutes Billinge were level.

James Dagnall's initial pass was cut out but the ball fell to Murphy who produced a sublime ball through to Avraam who controlled in an instant and neatly slotted it past Trubshaw.

The Storks were in the ascendancy and from the restart had the ball in the net again.

Allen won a fifty-fifty, knocked the ball to Lamont who flicked it back to him for the Billinge man-of-the-match to finish well.

Unfortunately for the home side the assistant referee - eventually - raised his flag and after the referee consulted him disallowed the goal for handball by Allen.

How he spotted the offence but not the push by Joe O'Neil that made Allen apparently handle the ball we will never know.

Unfortunately the Billinge captain - Riley - took his complaints too far and was shown a straight red card.

It left the claret and blues 20 minutes to see it the game with ten men which they did with ease and the eventful game finished all-square.

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After the game The Billinge manager Wayne Wardle said: "There was an unbelievable spirit from The Storks today after going 2-0 down.

"We stupidly had a man sent off but managed to pull it back to 2-2 and were unlucky not to get a winner."

The result means that The Storks are still unbeaten and sit in second place in Group A after playing three games.

Next week Billinge are away at Crewe FC while the reserves entertain top-of-the table Middlewich Town Reserves at Barrows Farm with both games kicking-off at 2pm.