1874 Northwich started life under new manager Damian Crossley by winning their first point in six matches.

However, most inside Hednesford Town’s Keys Park Stadium would suggest the Greens should have been heading home with all three points from this Northern Premier League West encounter, even despite their goalkeeper Ellis Allen being sent off.

In the end it finished 1-1, with 1874 surviving the last eight minutes with 10 men and defender Matty Fenton minding the nets.

Bottom-of-the-table Hednesford, yet to taste victory in the league at home this season, perhaps came closest to winning the game when they hit the crossbar in the 62nd minute but Crossley’s crew should arguably have been out of sight by then based on the number of chances they created in the first half.

It took only four minutes for the first goal of the new gaffer’s reign, with Jamie Nicholson firing low and hard into the bottom of the net.

Lucas Weir’s free-kick forced the home keeper into full-stretch mode and then he had a shot blocked off the line, before Fenton powered a header narrowly wide.

As can happen in football, the side doing all the pressing can then get caught at the other end and Hednesford’s first shot on target in the 26th minute found the net.

Nicholson waltzed past three defenders but his shot was cleared off the line, leaving 1874 going into the break dominant but needing to be more clinical.

1874 did not have as many clear-cut chances after the break, though a double-save denied them a second goal in the 78th minute.

Allen committed a foul outside the box which brought his red card in the 87th minute but neither side came close to a winner in the five minutes of added time.

1874 remain third from bottom, three points clear of Hednesford with two games in hand.

Meanwhile, in the same division, Witton Albion were comfortable 2-0 winners against Hanley Town at the U Lock It Stadium.

Albion’s first home win since September 30, and their first clean sheet of the campaign, was secured courtesy of goals from James Lawrie (20mins) and Connour Hughes (55mins).

Such was Witton’s dominance the margin of victory could easily have been wider.

They struck the woodwork twice in the first half through Matt Lowton and Kingsley Williams.

It was only the second defeat in Hanley’s last seven away league games.

Witton climb three places to 13th as a result.

Elsewhere, a first league away win of the season continues to avoid Northwich Victoria.

They fell 2-1 at Studley in the Midland League Premier Division, and may have wished that when the floodlights failed at half-time they never came back on.

At one stage they were down to nine men, with Marcus Perry going to the sin bin in the 60th minute and then fellow substitute Niall Sultan receiving a second yellow card four minutes later.

They trailed 2-0 at that point, but Vics had plenty of fight left and four minutes after Perry returned to the field they pulled a goal back.

Perry was sent away by Joe Camozzi and from his cross Callum Parker bundled the ball home.

The Bees also finished the game with 10 men after a late sending off but there was little incident of note from that point.

The hosts’ victory came from strikes by Reiss Taylor Randle (6mins) and Romario Martin (penalty, 29mins).

Meanwhile, Barnton climbed five places to eighth with a 2-0 success against Stafford Town in North West Counties League Division One South.

The clash was one of only three to go ahead in the division due to heavy rainfall forcing postponements through waterlogged pitches, with one of them being Winsford United’s trip to Maine Road.

Barnton went ahead in the 11th minute through striker Nivaldo Ferreira and the outcome was settled in the 70th minute thanks to substitute Harry Hatton.

In Cheshire League Two, Hartford FC will be fed up of the sight of Winsford Town.

Following Blues’ 9-0 win against their neighbours in the Mid Cheshire Cup last week, the two sides went into battle again in the league at Winsford Academy with Town this time running out 3-0 conquerors.

The goals were scored by Will Eaton, Rob Hopley and Dean Clarke.

Blues are fourth in the table, with at least two games in hand on the sides above them meaning they are very much in contention for top spot.

Hartford FC are still seeking their first win of term.