West Didsbury & Chorlton missed a chance to extend their winning run to four matches as they surrendered a 3-0 half time lead at home to Barnoldswick Town.
West were without Aaron Ashley, Richmond Botchey, Carlos Mendes Gomes and Rick Gleave as Manager Steve Settle was able to welcome Saul Lomax-Newton, Scott Mason and Matty Kay back into the starting line-up. There was also a first senior start for 19-year old Georgi Whyment.
West started brightly as the front three of Whyment, Nic Evangelinos and Saul Henderson combined early to put Barlick on the back foot. West took a deserved lead on 11 minutes as Joe Shaw capped off a superb move finishing with aplomb under the keeper following superb play from Whyment and Kay on the right hand side.
Whyment almost doubled the West lead on 22 minutes when he snatched onto a miss-controlled by ball by Barlick goalkeeper Jordan Gidley who made amends by smartly saving Whyment’s close range shot before the loose ball was hooked off the line. The respite was brief as West doubled their lead on 24 minutes when a Scott Mason free-kick was superbly whipped in finding the head of Evangelinos sending the ball sailing inside the far post.
It got better for West as they made it 3-0 on 28 minutes as a corner found Nia Bayunu at the far post, his first touch brought it onto his right foot, creating enough space to fire it back across goal inside the far post. A terrific finish from the central defender.
West could and should have extended their lead before half time as first Henderson saw a hard effort deflect over the bar after a superb through ball from Evangelinos before he went close again inside the six yard box but couldn’t put his shot on target.
The half ended with Lomax-Newton called into action for the first time as he was forced to push a low save from a Barlick free kick away. A warning of what was later to come.
The visitors began the second half quickly as Jake Lloyd forced Lomax-Newton to a strong save after some terrific play down the left from Zack Dale on 48 minutes moments after Aaron Hollingdrake had headed over from a free kick.
West responded as Gidley was forced into saves from both Henderson and Kay before Barlick were handed a life line when Hollingdrake was tripped in the box following a loose touch from Josh Tinker. Andy Hill reduced the deficit sending the Lomax-Newton the wrong with his penalty making it 3-1 with just under half an hour remaining.
Barlick, lifted by the goal, again forced Lomax-Newton into a good save from Hill before Dale fired over after a superb run on the left. A double sub had an immediate impact for Barlick as Gareth Hargreaves made it 3-2 with 15 minutes remaining with a superb 35 yard effort over Lomax-Newton.
West sat deeper in an attempt to defend their slender lead but were undone five minutes from time as Hollingdrake levelled when a short corner was worked low into the six yard box and he drove it home from close range.
The last five minutes were a frantic end-to-end affair as both sides looked for a fourth goal but both sides were forced to settle for a point as West were left wondering what might have been.