THIS is now Northwich Victoria’s longest sequence without a league win this season, but manager Adam Lakeland is staying positive.

After all, Burscough are direct rivals for a play-offs place.

“A draw is fair,” said Vics’ boss afterwards.

“We’re having a bit of a dip, so a point isn’t the worst we could have asked for against a side playing with plenty of confidence.

“I thought the players showed character in difficult conditions and, despite being second-best after half-time, I felt we finished the game more strongly than them.”

Vics took the lead after 10 minutes, when Richie Bennett increased his goals tally for the season to 25 by redirecting Brian Summerskill’s header over the Linnets’ goalkeeper Calvin Hare.

Heavy rain and a blustery wind followed, and Charlie Russell go the ball stuck under his feet when well-placed after Eddie Toner – making his second debut for Vics – sent a pass his way.

At the other end, Will Jones headed wide from Phil Quirk’s cross.

Burscough, four points behind their guests in the Division One North table, restored parity on 53 minutes.

Nick Ryan’s long ball was allowed to bounce by Vics’ defence, and Matty Devine took the opportunity to lift a smart finish over stranded custodian Lewis King.

The hosts then fluffed a chance to move in front, when Michael Monaghan dragged a shot wide of the far upright after Jones cut back from the touchline.

Bennett hit wide when Vics attacked in the closing stages, while Paul Jewell’s header was too high from Joe Camozzi’s cross for Burscough.

Lakeland reflected: “We lacked composure under pressure in the second half, and didn’t keep the ball to nullify their momentum.

“The goal we conceded was schoolboy stuff – from a long kick forward – and it’s the sort of soft goal we’ve let in of late.

“I wouldn’t mind if teams were tearing us apart, but they’re not.”

A return meeting with Trafford, with whom Vics shared four goals last weekend, takes place at Wincham Park on Monday.

Burscough | Hare (GK), Camozzi, Quirk, Brown, Ryan, Williams, Monaghan, Jewell, Jones, Newby (Rice 90), Devine (Noon 88) Subs not used Caddick, Smith, Conchie Goal Devine 53

Vics | King (GK), Byrne, Regan, Clarke, Duxbury, Summerskill, Roddy (Cook 68), Ball, Toner (Gyimah 84), Russell (Burnett 68), Bennett Subs not used Springthorpe (GK), Watson Goal Bennett 10 Booked Byrne

Referee Simon Lucas

Attendance 158