BILLINGE went down to a narrow 2-1 at Malpas on Saturday.

The Storks undefeated run came to a halt on a heavy pitch at Malpas despite giving everything in an attempt to come from two behind.

Billinge got off the worst possible start when they went behind inside the first five minutes.

A corner was only half cleared and from the second chance Ben Parry connected with a superb overhead kick eight yards out; that hit the back of the net before you could blink.

Malpas had the bit between their teeth and took the game to The Storks as they took advantage of the slope and a slight breeze with Alex Hughes leading the line well.

Billinge were creaking a little but soon steadied themselves and on 18 minutes Liam Bowden broke superbly found Jamie Anderson in open space only for the skipper’s shot to be saved by the keeper.

On 35 minutes Bowden found himself one-on-one with the keeper but was flagged offside by the linesman when it look to all and sundry that he was yards on.

Three minutes later Malpas doubled their lead when Chris Cottington didn’t get to a long hopeful ball; Tom Derbyshire came out to try and collect the ball but the industrious Hughes got their first and slipped the ball into an empty goal.

The Storks needed to compose themselves but with five minutes to half-time a huge brawl broke out by the touchline with most of the players involved. It soon calmed down with the referee booking Bowden from Billinge along with a home player.

With The Storks all pumped up the management’s task was to get to half-time, calm the players down and get their game heads back on.

This was achieved and whatever was said worked as there then followed 45 minutes of Billinge pressure.

The Storks got hold of the midfield and while the pitch didn’t suit their fluid game they began to find their passes and drive forward.

On 50 minutes Seb Bradshaw unleashed a power drive that the keeper could only collect on the second attempt while a minute later nobody could get on the end of Dave Blakeney’s cross.

The pressure continued and on the hour mark the Claret and Blues halved the deficit.

Elliot Bradshaw - who had been pushed up on the right with Blakeney dropping back - produced a gem of the cross that Liam Platt superbly headed into the bottom corner.

This led to a final third that saw Malpas hanging on and Billinge trying everything to score.

Liam Platt blasted just over from twenty yards then a fantastic move saw Ste Wolhuter’s 25-yard shot just pass the post.

With ten minutes to go Elliot Bradshaw couldn’t quite get on the head of a cross and then on 85 minutes Chris Cottington’s tremendous free-kick was tipped onto the post with nobody able to stab the ball home from the rebound.

Seb Bradshaw again stung the keeper’s hands from long-range and another cross into the box just evaded the Billinge strike-force.

To The Storks management and travelling support it only seemed a matter of time before the equaliser would come but yet another scramble in the area saw the keeper collect and it wasn’t to be.

At the end of the day it wasn’t the usual free-flowing Billinge but a heavy clay-based pitch and a well-organised home side that defended with their lives ensured The Storks would go home without a point.

Billinge manager Geoff Parr was disappointed with the result but couldn’t fault the second-half performance saying: “The lads did everything I asked of them at half-time, we took the game to Malpas and I always thought we would get a draw and dependent on when we got the equaliser then a win.

“It wasn’t to be so congratulations to Malpas and we look forward to the cup game at Poynton next week.”

The defeat sees Billinge drop a place down to fifth.