Jack Owen tells the story of 1874 Northwich’s 2-2 draw with City of Liverpool at Townfield on Saturday…

LEE Knight scored his first goal since returning to 74 to ensure that the Greens grabbed a deserved share of the points at Townfield.

A scrappy start between two sides close to each other in the league standings was just as expected as both sides looked to gain control of the ball and impose their game.

The first proper chance arrived on the 12th minute as the tricky Mackenzie O'Neill got in between the defenders and the goalkeeper to only be denied by Martin in the City of Liverpool goal, who had a great reaction save to make.

74 continued to press the City of Liverpool back line, but it was the visitors who took the lead – a counterattack lead to Quarless playing the ball in behind the 74 back line to a waiting Hazlehurst, who took two looks at the linesman for an offside flag before placing his shot in to the bottom left corner of the goal.

The 74 appeals fell on death ears and the visitors had the lead.

Five minutes before the break, 74 thought they were level as Jack Irlam powered a header home which clipped off Reed on its way into the top left corner of the goal.

No flag went up from the linesman but the ref had a quick discussion with his assistant and then disallowed the goal for offside, much to the disapproval of the home support.

However, 74 grabbed their deserved equaliser before the break – Reed was hauled down after turning CoL defender Schofield and he picked himself up to roll a composed penalty down the middle of the goal, sending Martin the wrong way.

Early in to the second half, City of Liverpool regained their lead – a stray defensive clearance found their captain Glenn Rule who played the ball through a gap in the 74 defence to Josh Quarless, who saw his first attempt blocked and land back at his feet.

With the second, he rounded Tony Aghayere and slotted home in to an open net Northwich pressed on for their second equaliser of the game and a change of wide men saw Callam Gardner and Knight introduced from the bench to take a different approach.

City of Liverpool continued to hold firm with the two central defenders Schofield and Lycett excelling in repelling all attack.

A change of shape late on saw captain Matt Woolley introduced in to a back three, which allowed 74 to keep even more pressure on the creaking Purps' defence.

The pressure finally paid on the 88th minute as Reed's persistence saw him beat both Schofield and keeper Martin to a bouncing ball in the area.

He headed over Martin and onto the crossbar, but Knight steamed in to head home on the line and grab a deserved point for 1874.

Lucas Weir had the CoL travelling supports’ hearts in their mouths with seconds to go – he cut inside and drove an effort towards goal which took a deflection and skimmed the post as it went behind with the keeper completely beaten.

A point a piece was confirmed as the referee brought an exciting contest to a conclusion at Townfield, which also saw 74 pick up some very much needed points in front of their own supporters.