Daisy Hill 2 St Helens 2

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After the reassuring 1-1 draw against Widnes on Thursday night, St Helens Town wanted to ensure that a solid defence coupled with a dangerous counter attack would be their main weapon as they travelled to New Sirs to take on Daisy Hill.

The home side were involved in a mini-revival to their disappointing start as they were embarking on a three game winning run.

The first of these was handing City of Liverpool a first defeat of the season before beating Garforth Town in the FA Vase before winning at Crilly Park against Atherton LR.

As has been the case so many times this season, Town started brightly and were confident on the ball. The front two of Phil Williams and Andy Gillespie were constantly pressuring the Daisy Hill defensive line which lead to some risky moments early on. The work rate of Ste Rigby and Danny Brady at wing back again proved to be useful as Town had options wide as well as central.

Gillespie created the first meaningful chance of the game, as he created space in the Daisy Hill penalty area, but his shot was saved by the legs of goalkeeper Craig Haynes.

However from this, the hosts went straight down to the other end and created a chance of their own, but Ashley Scott’s effort was an easy save for Ryan Taylor.

Town managed to grab the first goal of the contest as a Sam Sheen free kick was driven low into the area that fooled the Daisy Hill defenders, Gillespie was on hand to escape his marker and fire home to give Town the lead.

This lead only lasted four minutes as a poor back pass allowed for a rushed clearance from Taylor to find John Stephenson, the Daisy Hill number nine composed himself, and hit an effort too powerful for the goalkeeper, which put the home team back on level terms almost immediately.

Despite this setback, Town were still creating the better chances, a quick transition from defence to attack saw Andy Presho play in Gillespie, he nodded the ball down but his half volley could only hit the near post. Left wing back Ste Rigby then skipped inside of his man, but his effort was saved by Haynes at the expense of a corner.

Town started the second half as they ended the first, as they created two terrific chances to take the lead inside the opening two minutes of the half.

The first of these was a through ball from Andy Gillespie to his strike partner Phil Williams; however his shot went wide of the far post. A minute later this combo was replicated, but Williams struck wide of the other post.

But 20 minutes into the second half, Town managed to retake the lead. A through ball from Danny Greene, who started the game after being benched on Thursday, found Gillespie who lofted over the onrushing goalkeeper to add his second of the game.

Greene was deployed in a more central role today, a playmaker in behind the two strikers, as the wing backs proved to be more of a wide threat than they were on Thursday.

Only Ed Pegler survived from the three centre backs that defended so resiliently against Widnes, as Jacob Ball and Nathan Ogden came in for Andy Webster and Adam Donohue.

Greene came in for Callum Davies as a reshuffle in positions shows the versatility in the Town team at the moment as Nick Matthews and Lee Jenkinson rung the changes from 48 hours prior.

Much like the first half, St Helens’ lead could only last a matter of minutes, as Daisy Hill sub Reece Broadhurst was pulled back which resulted in a penalty to the hosts. Ashley Scott sent Novak the wrong way as the game was levelled again.

Six minutes later, another penalty was awarded Daisy Hill’s way, as Scott was hacked down by Nathan Ogden as he bared down on goal. He stepped up to try and grab his second goal of the game, but this time his effort from 12 yards was well saved by Ryan Taylor as the game finished level.

Town host FC Oswestry Town at home next Saturday before travelling to recently relegated Alsager Town a week later.