WHEN both sides make a case they might have won, a draw is usually right.

Substitute Joe Duckworth scored shortly after his introduction in the second-half to earn a share of the spoils for landlords Winsford United, replying to Taylor Kennerley’s opener for 1874 Northwich.

The tenants ended the contest with 10 men too after Jack Pritchard was sent off.

They had taken the lead inside 10 minutes when Kennerley steered in from close-range after former Blue Callum Gardner had charged down goalkeeper Michael Langley’s attempted clearance.

And Winsford risked falling further behind when Paul Connor’s cross reached Kennerley, who fired high.

Langley redeemed himself in part when he blocked Scott McGowan’s shot before Gardner’s powerful strike from the rebound struck an upright.

At the other end Dave Short, restored to the starting line-up by manager Lee Duckworth against his old team, was thwarted by Mark Jones’ last-ditch tackle.

He also prompted custodian James Coates to save smartly from a free-kick.

1874 defenders smothered another effort from the in-form front-man, turning over possession for a counter-attack that ended with McGowan testing Langley after running clear.

Winsford’s number one was worked again when Gardner tried his luck and the same player started the second-half by drilling an effort narrowly wide.

Connor fired over too before Blues, who had introduced Kallum Boyle at the interval, asserted themselves.

Short’s next attempt was off-target before the contest was paused while 1874 full-back Matthew Russell received treatment after falling awkwardly following a challenge with Dean Clarke.

He left the field on a stretcher, and stayed in a nearby hospital overnight.

His teammates were reorganising themselves when a set-piece from their opponents reached Duckworth who found the net to restore parity.

He was involved too in a tangle with Pritchard shortly afterwards that led to referee Daniel Issawi showing a red card to the Northwich defender.

1874 | Coates (GK), Connor, Russell (Koral 67), Pritchard, Mark Jones, Weir, Gardner, Matthew Woolley, McGowan (Riley 88), Hare (Irlam 73), Kennerley Subs not used Ormrod, Waite-Jackson Goal Kennerley 9

Winsford | Langley (GK), Phillips, Clarke (Collinson 87), Delaney, Jenyons (Boyle 46), Foster, Lee Jones, Hopper, Short, Howell (Joe Duckworth 61), Blackwell Sub not used Lee Duckworth Goal Joe Duckworth 70

Referee Daniel Issawi

Attendance 452

Additional reporting by Garry Clarke