Last-gasp Birkby comes to rescue

Dan Birkby for Euxton Villa in their game against Lostock St Gerards
Dan Birkby for Euxton Villa in their game against Lostock St Gerards
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A last-gasp strike from Dan Birkby ensured Euxton Villa sealed a deserved point against Lostock St Gerard’s.

Birkby’s 94th-minute strike cancelled out Troy Carsley’s effort, which had given the Saints a lead with five minutes remaining.

Earlier Villa’s Dan Hogg had opened the scoring before Lewis Wilkinson drew the sides level when scoring five minutes before the hour mark.

This point leaves Villa fifth in the Premier Division and Mark McDonnell’s side will still have high hopes of a top-four finish.

The game was the third this season between the two sides, and Gerards, who were promoted at the start of the season, had been something of a bogey side for Villa as they won their previous two encounters.

But with a new-look team, McDonnell’s side got off to a good start.

And their pressure told as Hogg showed great quality lashing a shot into the top corner from 12 yards.

Villa had a new man between the posts in youngster MacAuley Scott as usual keeper Shaun Gibbs hadn’t recovered in time from a back injury.

But he couldn’t do anything about the girst Lostock goal as Wilkinson headed home from six yards.

Villa continued to press and full-back Mark Swift blazed wide from six yards and Hogg appeared to be hauled down in the penalty area but the referee waved away the claims.

Gerard’s took the lead as Carsley rounded off a counter attack but with just seconds left, Birkby prodded home from six yards to seal a point.

This Saturday, Euxton travel to Burnley United, while Coppull United return to action as they make the journey to the coast to take on Thornton Cleveleys.