Saints 2 Hedley 6, Walker 21
AFC Hayes 2 Crane 36, Williams 43
Calor League Division One Central (Saturday 11 January)
Chances went begging as Saints made a bright start after the weather-enforced layoff but defensive lapses meant the points were shared on Saturday.
Saints made an impressive start to the game were took an early lead as Alan Hedley latched on to a Scott Fitzgerald knock down and placed his shot wide of the diving keeper from outside the area. Making up for the fortnight of inactivity, Saints lost their nervousness in front of goal and looked to build on their lead, pushing hard at the Hayes defensive line. Further reward came Romaine Walker was found in space on the right, beat several players before again beating the keeper from distance.
Hayes began to get back into their game but with Gareth Paxton and his latest defensive partner, Farai Williams, holding firm at the back and Alan Hedley and Alex Paine controlling the middle of the field, they were restricted to attacks down the flanks and Terrell Lewis and Ronayne Marsh-Brown both had difficult afternoons.
It was from such attacks down the line that brought the visitors surprisingly level before the break as first Charlie Crane and then Lucas Williams found the net.
The second half could have gone badly for Saints as Chris Christie was forced off with a damaged hand after a good double save and Michael Power-Simpson had to come off his sick bed to take his place between the posts. Fortunately he was not really tested as Hayes were only able to muster a couple of off-target efforts.
Saints however, given their recent poor record of scoring, were positively profligate in front of goal with numerous chances to take the game away from the visitors. Scott Fitzgerald somehow scooped a clear chance wide, Davis Haule won a great header but was wide and Alan Hedley couldn't get enough power behind a snap shot that had to be cleared off the line.
A fair result? Perhaps but football is rarely fair and Saints will see this as two points dropped.
Saints: Chris Christie (Michael Power-Simpson 54), Terrell Lewis, Ronanyne Marsh-Brown, Gareth Paxton, Farai Williams, Alex Paine, Romaine Walker, Alan Hedley, Leon Osei (Remmel Clarke 87), Scott Fitzgerald, Asen Valchev (Davis Haule 76).
Attendance: 57 Star Player: Alex Paine