WINSFORD United twice let slip leads in Monday night's draw with City of Liverpool.

If it had not been for Polish defender Damian Skolorzynski sprinting seemingly out of nowhere to clear a shot off the line in the closing stages, Blues could have been staring at an unjust defeat.

Callum Gardner's strike from the penalty spot, adding to Mike Koral's first-half opener, gave Blues 10 minutes to defend their advantage but Thomas Peterson levelled things up again six minutes from time.

Although not the outcome Winsford wanted, the performance was one heading in the right direction as more points are sought to steer themselves safe from relegation.

The visitors had an amazing escape in the third minute.

Callum Gardner released Koral down the right and his hard, low drive was turned on to the post by Danny McLaughlin.

Ex-Blues goalkeeper Mike Langley couldn’t believe his luck as the ball rebounded straight into his arms.

At the other end Matthew Green had to dash smartly off his line to deny John Connolly.

A free kick given away on the left gave the visitors a great chance to open the scoring.

Francis Foy collected the ball on the edge of the box and his first-time snap shot flew inches over the angle of the goal.

Winsford’s raids down the flanks were carving gaps in the City defence, with Gardner proving particularly creative.

Gardner was the catalyst to the opening goal when he collected the ball on the halfway line and his pinpoint pass over the defence was perfectly placed for Koral to run onto.

As Langley advanced out of his goal the Blues front man put the ball where all good strikers put it, between the advancing goalkeeper’s legs and into the net.

City looked to hit back immediately, and another free kick saw Joseph Camozzi’s header test Green who made a fine save.

The match was being played at a furious pace with Gardner’s effort being blocked on the line and Hazlehurst’s drive flying inches over the bar.

On the stroke of half time Blues had a great chance of doubling their lead when Scott Taylor’s cross found the outstretched leg of Koral, but the ball drifted agonisingly wide of the far upright.

Polish full-back Skolorzynski was the first to make an impression at the start of the second period, his drive from a narrow angle flashing across the goal and inches wide of the target.

Somewhat against the run of play City equalised on 50 minutes when a scramble in the box saw Hazlehurst stretch out a leg to guide the ball into the top of the net.

A free kick on the hour mark saw Lee Duckworth head off the line when a goal looked certain.

Two minutes later Gardner was denied by a fine fingertip save by Langley when the ball was heading for the top corner.

Duckworth was in action again, this time at the other end when he went close with a header that scraped the top of the bar and Koral should perhaps have done better when he had just Langley to beat but the ball bobbled, and his effort went high and wide.

Winsford restored their lead on 80 minutes when a rush of blood saw Langley rush off his line to flatten McLaughlin on the edge of the area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Gardner stepped up to send Langley the wrong way, driving the ball high into the top right of the net.

Four minutes later it was all-square again when a long cross to the far post found Peterson unmarked and he guided his header over Green and into the far corner of the net.

Winsford: Matthew Green (GK), Damian Skolorzynski, Lee Duckworth, Mike Taylor, Logan Jeffs, Will Foster, Scott Taylor (Purcell 64), Ryan Hopper, Michael Koral, Danny McLaughlin, Callum Gardner. Subs: Ryan Steele, Jason Fowles, James Rothwell, Robbie Hatton.

Attendance: 187.