SAUL Henderson stepped off the bench to earn Northwich Victoria a deserved share of the spoils at Hanley Town, writes Peter Tonge.

His 90th-minute effort, a final touch to Aaron Burns' goal-bound shot, wrapped up the scoring at 2-2, leaving Vics 13th on the North West Counties Premier Division ladder.

Brandon Barski’s 16th-minute own goal and Burns’ reply left the sides tied at 1-1 at the break, with Neil Cope’s penalty in the 76th minute looking likely to give Hanley the win until Henderson’s late intervention at Potteries Park.

Vics started their first match of of 2020 brightly, and Hanley keeper, Aaron Woolrich, was forced into a great save low to the left to deny Tom Kilifin's flicked shot after Aaron Burns had scuffed his shot across goal into his path.

Two minutes later, Burns got his head to a Ryan Winder curled cross before the keeper but the ball went wide.

However it was Hanley who took the lead as miscommunication between Hale and Barski led to the latter's headed back pass rolling into the net.

This unsettled Vics and the game became scrappy.

After 26 minutes, James Melhado got down the left for Hanley, and cut the ball into Cope who was 15 yards out but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Philip Clarke for a corner which was dealt with comfortably by Vics.

Vics got back into the game after 42 minutes, when a cross was only partially cleared to Matty Clarke who deftly headed the ball back into the danger area to Kilifin who headed down across the area for Burns to fire home.

Hanley were again indebted to their keeper Woolrich after 53 minutes, when he dived full length to tip a glancing header from Kev Pollard round the post.

Vics were controlling the game now and having most of the ball.

After 55 minutes, Barski got in down the left, and whipped a great cross in but Kilifin's header was straight at Woolrich.

Four minutes later, a Vics corner was only cleared to the feet of debutant Jamie Forbes but his first-time shot was well over the bar.

Then from a quick break Jack Dorney fired a shot from 22 yards which was well saved by the keeper.

Three minutes later, another top save was produced by Woolrich.

As a corner was only cleared to Clarke just outside the area, his powerful strike was destined for the top of the net before Woolrich managed to brilliantly tip it over.

Hanley had a rare chance in the 73rd minute, as a Melhado cross was cleared out to Sanders who laid the ball into Mellor 12 yards out but he skied his shot when he should have done better.

Three minutes later, a long ball by Hanley down the right was heading nowhere when Tom Sanders was needlessly pushed in the back and a penalty awarded.

The spot kick was coolly fired into the bottom right corner by Cope.

The game again became scrappy, and Vics looked to be running out of time but a Vics free kick was lumped into the box, cleared out by Hanley, but Vics recycled the ball back into Burns in the area where he controlled the ball well, turned and fired a shot which was heading in but Henderson made sure at the far post to claim the goal.

Vics: Hale, Forbes, P Clarke, Barski, Camozzi (Henderson 82'), Peters (Dorney 45'), M Clarke, Pollard (Powell), R Winder, Kilifin, Burns. Subs not used: Kenny, Henry.

Stockport County will be the visitors to Wincham Park against Vics on Wednesday in the second round of the Cheshire Senior Cup.