STEVE Wilkes featured a new-look backline in Northwich Victoria's dull 1-1 draw at his former club Padiham.

Phillip Clarke (Conwy Borough) featured in the heart of the defence, while Mike Hale (Bamber Bridge) took over goalkeeping duties.

Another new midweek signing, Joshua Winder from Lancaster City, did not feature on a day when experienced midfielder or striker Jamie Reed, injured with hamstring trouble for the past month, announced on Twitter that his time with Vics has come to an end.

As for the game itself, Padiham took a 55th-minute lead through Luke Noble but Vics earned a share of the spoils courtesy of Kevin Pollard's net finder on 67 minutes.

Vics started brightly enough, but found it hard work to put passes together on a soft pitch.

The best chance for Vics in a dull first half fell to Aaron Burns in the 11th minute when he was set through on goal but his shot was saved well by Holmes in the Padiham net.

In the final minute of the half a Ryan Winder cross was headed on by Brandon Barski but Tom Kilifin failed to get enough power on the ball to test Holmes seriously.

Padiham started the second half better and in the 49th minute Hale produced a fine save to divert a shot wide of the goal.

Three minutes later Vics were indebted to Barski as he got back well to clear a diagonal ball when Padiham had men behind him in the box waiting after a quick break.

It was no surprise when Padiham took the lead.

One pass split the Vics' defence wide open and Noble was there to slot the ball past Hale.

Vics responded well and Pollard scuffed a shot into the keeper's arms when he was well placed.

He made amends three minutes later when he met a dinked ball into the box from Burns and expertly looped a header over Holmes.

The game had livened up now, and in the 74th minute, Hale saved brilliantly to deny Padiham a certain goal when they broke through.

In the 81st minute, substitute Saul Henderson produced a dangerous low cross which caused panic in the Padiham defence but no Vics player could get a decisive touch as the ball ricocheted around in the box.

The final chance fell to Vics in the 87th minute, as a Winder cross fell to Kilifin but his shot lacked conviction.

A poor match with little quality from either team, not helped by the pitch.

The draw leaves Vics in 11th place in the North West Counties Premier Division without a win in four matches.

Vics: Hale, Henry (M Clarke 29), P Clarke, Barski, Peters, Powell (Henderson 78), Camozzi, Pollard (Pilkington 82), Winder, Kilifin, Burns. Unused sub: Taberner.

Additional reporting: Pete Tonge