THIS result left both teams with reason to feel satisfied.

Nathan Cotterell’s close-range header, an equaliser in the moments before half-time, means Winsford United remain unbeaten at home this season.

The Villagers are still searching for a first victory after three wins and as many draws, but a point is further proof of their improvement in the past seven days.

Blues were brighter during the early exchanges, and Ryan Steele’s shot prompted Barnton goalkeeper Chris Kiernan to save low down.

Callam Gardner’s free-kick needed a decisive touch, while Perry Bircumshaw missed the target and Cotterell’s attempt was blocked by a back-marker.

At the other end, Will Foster’s tackle denied Ryan Malone a glimpse of goal.

Cotterell’s next effort was cleared off the goal-line, while Kiernan used a boot to block when the front man tried his luck again.

Barnton scored first though, and Bandell was left unmarked to lift a cute finish over custodian Ross Heywood after the Villagers had been alert to take a set-piece quickly.

Cotterell restored parity though, diverting the ball home from at the near post.

Winsford’s player-manager Lee Duckworth sent on Michael Koral at the start of the second period, and the attacker made Kiernan work with his first contribution after drifting inside from the right.

However his involvement ended shortly afterwards when a muscle injury recurred that had kept him out for the previous fortnight.

Steele limped off too.

New recruit Sean Sherwood glanced a header wide, although the closest Blues went to a winner Niall Ford’s attempted clearance ended with the ball striking his own crossbar.

Barnton’s appeals for a penalty were turned down by referee Craig Buxton after they felt a Winsford player had handled.

Foster met Ryan Hopper’s cross with a header from the contest’s final attack, but he could only direct it straight at Kiernan.

Winsford | Heywood (GK), Skolorzynksi, Bircumshaw, Sherwood, Middleton, Foster, Steele (Taylor 59), Hopper, Cotterell, Gardner, Riley (Koral 46, Hudson 59) Subs not used Lee Duckworth, Rothwell Goal Cotterell 45

Barnton | Kiernan (GK), Webster, Mannion, Houghton, Bayley (Richards 37), Ford, Malone, Jason McShane, Smith, Bandell (Woolley 66), Irlam Subs not used Shuttlewood, Pearson, James McShane Goal Bandell 33

Referee Craig Buxton

Attendance 176