Hallmark Security League

Premier Division

Whitchurch Alport 1

City of Liverpool 1

A late penalty salvaged a point for the league leaders in a pulsating clash at Yockings Park on Saturday. The visitors had won nine games in a row before this one and sit on the verge of a league and cup double, but dropping two points against the Reds could yet prove very damaging indeed.

But for John McGrath's 75th minute spot kick, it looked like the Merseysiders would not have scored had they played until midnight. They missed a penalty to go one up early on, hit the frame of the goal twice and also had three efforts cleared off the line.

Alport put bodies on the line time and again and having played just 48 hours earlier, tiredness became a factor the longer the game went on. CoL stated their intent from the outset and had a chance to go ahead after just 12 minutes but Jack Hazlehurst fluffed his lines and struck the base of the post when it looked far easier to score.

On 27 minutes came the away side's first pen of the afternoon when Joseph Holt took a tumble in the box but Dave Parton made a brilliant save to deny Karl Clair from the spot.

Darren Campion was well-placed to head away Clair's goal bound effort as the purples pressed and at the other end, Ricky Bridge was desperately unlucky to see his thunderous volley bounce back off the crossbar. With 10 minutes to go before half-time, Kevin Street – former Crewe Alexandra and Shrewsbury Town midfielder – floated in a free-kick which was met by Hughes only for his glanced header to sail agonisingly wide. But the same combination finally picked the lock of an otherwise well marshalled defence when Alex Hughes flicked in to the top corner with just two minutes of the first half remaining.

A season's high attendance of 427 were well entertained throughout. Ben Chilcott twice headed off the line and with 18 minutes left Hazlehurst struck the post again with an audacious overhead kick but two minutes later McGrath smashed home another penalty after a foul by Callum O'Connor on Hazlehurst.

n On Thursday, Alport beat AFC Telford 5-4 on penalties in the Huddersfield Cup semi-final, drawing 1-1 in regular time – Sean Griffiths with the decisive pen.