STEVE Wilkes said it felt as if Northwich Victoria had lost after Burscough scored a second equaliser in added time to claim a deserved draw.

Luke Gibson’s close-range header hauled the Linnets level and preserved an unbeaten record against Vics after three meetings this season.

“It’s the first time for as long as I can remember that I told the players that they’d let themselves down,” said Wilkes.

“Perhaps it was going to come after the past couple of weeks and it did appear as though what we’ve been through had caught up with some of the lads.

“I’m still disappointed to have conceded a late goal even if I believe Burscough were full value for the point they got.”

The visitors might have opened the scoring inside five minutes but Adam Owens snatched at his shot and missed the target with only goalkeeper Danny Taberner to beat.

Terry Cummings’ cross from the right was then met by Chad Whyte with a header that hit the upright.

Vics took the lead five minutes later when Rob Doran dived to meet Jack Fleming’s swerving centre from the left with a header.

However Burscough were rewarded for their efforts when Cummings lifted the ball over Taberner from an angle after avoiding the home team’s offside trap.

The teams continued to trade goals and Brandon Barski met John Connolly’s corner with a precise header to restore Northwich’s lead on 32 minutes.

Vics failed to take an opportunity to make it 3-1 when Brad Cooke’s pass sent Harvey Whyte clear but, after winning back a ball he had initially lost, the young midfielder delayed shooting and Danny Brady timed perfectly an intervention to deny him.

Burscough remained committed to attack and Taberner had to produce his best, saving low to his right, when Prince Ekpolo drilled an effort on goal after the turnaround.

Paul Ennis was unlucky when he steered a shot with the outside of his foot wide for Vics, who conjured another glorious chance on 65 minutes.

Barski’s raking pass invited substitute Brian Matthews to run clear but his strike flashed wide.

The Linnets’ threat did not subside, and Jordan Lorde was next to go close before Whyte’s attempt fizzed wide following fine approach play by Cummings.

Gibson’s goal on 92 minutes meant their efforts weren’t wasted.

Vics | Taberner (GK), Camozzi, Fleming, Winder, Kenny, Barski, Harvey Whyte (Whittle 86), Cooke, Doran (Matthews 46), Connolly (Brownhill 71), Ennis Subs not used Darr, Fitzgerald Goals Doran 25, Barski 32

Linnets | Fletcher (GK), Parkes (Iddon 76), Brady, White (Eumessi 86), Doherty, Gibson, Cummings, Ekpolo, Chad Whyte, Owens (Finlayson 78), Lorde Sub not used Grier Goals Cummings 30, Gibson 90 (+2) Booked Brady

Referee Tom Elliott

Attendance 176

Additional reporting by Jamie Dewsbury