ROBERT Swallow’s spectacular goal completed a comeback by Abbey Hey that denied Winsford United maximum points from their first match of a new season.

Blues had led 2-0 at the break.

While frustrated, they showed plenty of promise to supporters that made the trip to Gorton.

Dave Short’s header flashed inches wide of an upright from Michael Koral’s cross during an encouraging start before the latter’s appeal for a penalty was turned down by referee Luis Griffiths.

However he was more accommodating when Perry Bircumshaw was sent sprawling after half an hour, and Short drilled the resulting spot-kick low past former Winsford goalkeeper Ross Heywood.

The visitors doubled their lead shortly before the interval too when Sam Marshall spun and shot in the same movement to find the net.

Abbey Hey, now under the stewardship of former Northwich Victoria manager Paul Moore, were a team transformed after half-time.

They halved their arrears quickly too when skipper Ashford Blake jumped to meet a corner unchallenged with a header that left custodian Mike Langley grasping at air.

Griffiths then resisted calls from the home team for a penalty of their own when Aaron Rodger went to ground after contact with Langley.

Blues fluffed a chance to restore a two-goal cushion when captain Will Foster headed wide from Short’s free-kick before substitute Tom Fisher directed his own headed attempt the same way.

Swallow’s moment of magic followed, the full-back sending an unstoppable shot out of Langley’s reach from 30 yards after Peter Watling, a second-half replacement, teed him up.

Winsford almost nicked a win, but Heywood scrambled to recover after fumbling Short’s set-piece.

Abbey Hey | Heywood (GK), Swallow, Edwards, Solademi, Blake, Ibrahim, Oko, Murray (Walker 70), Evans (Watling 59), Shaw (Barlow 83), Rodger Subs not used Dale, Riley Goals Blake 51, Swallow 68 Booked Blake, Ibrahim, Murray, Shaw

Blues | Langley (GK), Cook, Skolorzynski (Fisher 62), Hopper, Jenyons, Foster, Marshall, Bircumshaw, Koral (Moores 85), Short, Collins (Taylor 74) Subs not used Woolley, Cookson (GK) Goals Short 30 (penalty), Marshall 44 Booked Marshall, Short

Referee Luis Griffiths

Attendance 80