ST HELENS Town collected a hard-earned point at high-flying Stockport Town on Saturday.

The Hallmark Security League First Division clash was spoilt to a great extent by Storm Brian, yet that should not detract from St Helens’ storming midfield performance.

Playing into the teeth of the gale in the first half, Town turned on the style with Paul Cliff pulling the strings in the middle of the park.

His quick thinking spotted an opportunity for Shaun Brady and a threaded pinpoint pass saw the centre forward place the ball expertly past Dylan Forth in the Stockport net to put St Helens 1-0 up after six minutes.

Brady soon had another chance but this time the home defence blocked him off and a free kick at the other end in the 15th minute saw a long, low strike beat stand-in Australian keeper Gage Walsh at his right post.

St Helens were still on top for the rest of the first half, but Stockport had a goal disallowed for offside and the score remained at 1-1 at half time.

Owen Dursley was hurt and had to be helped from the field – Town’s third serious injury in successive games.

Stockport were marginally the better side in the second period, but the St Helens defence held firm and the only scare came when Walsh dropped the ball under pressure of three forwards, but the linesman had raised his flag before the ball was deposited into the net.

Town went into the game on the back of exiting the Macron Cup courtesy of a 4-0 defeat at Prestwich Heys in midweek.

Three first-choice players, Paul Cliff, Liam Dodd and Danny Lomax were rested on the bench, while Andy Presho had to leave the field with a badly dislocated shoulder halfway through the first-half and promotion-chasing Prestwich were in no mood to show any mercy.

It was 3-0 by half-time and Lee Grimshaw completed his hat-trick late on. Lee Bruce had opened the scoring in the 13th minute.

Town are now on a run of four home games, starting with tonight's Liverpool Senior Cup tie against Litherland REMYCA.

Cheadle Town visit St Helens on Saturday in a North West Counties League game.

Daisy Hill will be the opponents next Thursday, again 7.30pm kick-off, in a First Division Cup second-round tie.

Eccleshall will provide the opposition in the league on Saturday, November 4.