Baillie saves point for blues
Summer signing James Baillie marked his Warrington Rylands debut with the goal which rescued a point for the Blues at Atherton Collieries.
Playing up the considerable Skuna Stadium slope, Rylands went on the attack from the off with Momodou Touray and Dean Furman firing shots just over the bar in the opening minutes while James Neild drew a fine save from Colls keeper Nico Defreitas-Hansen.
The home side started to come more into the game with Luke Pilling doing well to cut out a dangerous low cross from Ben Rydel, however the Rylands goalkeeper could not prevent Lewis Mansell opening he scoring in the 23rd minute. Pilling was beaten again three minutes later but Rydel’s effort was ruled out for offside.
Rylands responded and leveled in the 42nd minute. Receiving the ball on the left flank, Baillie cut inside to drill a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Defreitas-Hansen was called upon to pull off saves in the closing minutes of the first half, twice denying Joe Piggott and to keep out a Touray shot.
After the break play switched from end to end as both sides looked for a winning goal but neither was able to find one, either denied by good defending or the failure to find that final ball.
Rylands had the better of the early exchanges with Ben Hardcastle shooting inches over the bar, James Butler heading over from a corner while Defreitas-Hansen produced two good saves to keep out attempts from Piggott and Edy Maieco.
As in the first half, the home started to come more into the game with Jordan Scanlan smashing a shot over the bar from 12 yards, Mwiya Malumo diverting a cross inches wide and also heading wide from a corner.
With seven minutes of added time to be played, Rylands tried to take advantage but Defreitas-Hansen pulled off three saves to deny Touray, Maieco and Adama Sidibeh to ensure the points from an entertaining game were shared.
ATHERTON – Defreitas-Hansen, Evans, Askew, Gregson, Fagbola, Boon, Rydel, Fofana, Mansell, Scanlon , Caine. Subs Rooney, Moonan, Solomon-Davies Malumo Pemberton.
RYLANDS – Pilling, Smith, Baillie (Hough), Regan, Buttler, Furman, Hardcastle, Neild, Piggott (Sidibeh), Touray, Bakkor (Maieco). Subs not used Uche, Kyffin.
Referee: Graeme Kearney