Jack Owen brings us the story of 1874 Northwich’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle Town on Tuesday…

CAPTAIN Matt Woolley stooped to power a header home in the 88th minute to earn a deserved point against Newcastle Town at Townfield.

Tommy Van Der Laan put the visitors ahead against the run of play with a powerful strike from 20 yards in the first half.

For captain Woolley, it was a fitting way to celebrate his 300th game for the club – he grabbed his first of the season after a sustained period of pressure as 74 laid siege to the Newcastle goal.

74 were forced into a change coming in to the game with influential midfielder Jake Parker having to miss the game through illness.

Jack Irlam returned to slot into a midfield which also featured Sam Hare, who replaced James Ormrod. Markell Fouldes made his competitive debut at the back alongside Mark Jones.

It was 74 who started the brighter of the two, moving the ball around and keeping possession allowed for the first opening of the game.

Lee Knight tested the palms of Owen Mooney from outside the box which the keeper saved smartly.

Irlam was next, guiding a header that looked to be dropping wide but Mooney took no chances and made a simple stop.

Van Der Laan was allowed the freedom of Townfield moments later, and the midfielder drove towards the 74 back line relatively unchallenged and thumped an effort in to the bottom left corner.

Even with Aghayere at full stretch, he had no chance and the visitors now had a lead to protect.

Before the half came to an end, there was a huge chance for 74 – Jones guided on a free kick from Hare and Woolley was at full stretch at the back post but couldn’t connect for the easy finish.

Irlam was finding room further up the pitch in the second half, his header from Knight’s cross went wide of the goal.

Taylor Kennerley was giving the Newcastle full-back nightmares with his tireless performance on the wing, his cross was perfect and Knight at the back post could only curl a shot over the bar.

Newcastle now dropped deeper looking to hold their lead.

74’ changed shape and introduced Callum Gardner from the bench, his impact was almost immediate as his driven cross from the right evaded both Ash Woods and Irlam in the middle with the net at their mercy.

Kennerley again drove a cross in to the 6 yard box only for James Askey to hammer away for a corner with Woods ready to pounce.

The goal finally arrived with two minutes left of the 90.

Woolley met a delicious corner from Gardner with a diving header, which nestled in to the bottom corner of the goal to the huge relief of the crowd.

With full momentum behind them, 74 nearly found a winner when Irlam headed towards goal, but the keeper was equal to it, parrying away the effort which was then cleared.

James Ormrod picked up a late yellow card as the game ticked into the last seconds when he brought down Declan Arber as the visitors looked to counter-attack.

The final whistle sounded and brought a first point for 74 in four games – a point that easily could have been all three on another day.