Enock Lusiama gave Atherton Colls fans some festive cheer as he earned the Black and Whites a point in a 1-1 draw away against Northern Premier League Premier Division high-flyers Warrington Rylands on Saturday.

Former Colls man, Ben Hardcastle, opened the scoring for the Blues after 11 minutes, as he managed to squeeze a shot just inside the near post of the outstretched Joe O’Shaughnessy in the visiting goal.

Colls responded well to the early deficit with marauding right-back Josh Solomon-Davies finding himself free just outside the box, but both of his attempted deliveries were cleared well by an astute Rylands defence, who have conceded the least goals in the Northern Premier League so far this season.

The game settled after an action-packed first 20 minutes until O’Shaughnessy was called into action, denying Rylands their second of the afternoon with a spectacular save following a corner.

Additional opportunities for the Colls came through Oli Putnam and man-of-the-match, Ben Rydel, who were both key with their creativity from midfield.

On his return to the starting line-up, Lewis Mansell was proving to be a handful for both of the Rylands central defenders as he played a great ball across their area, which was once again removed by the Blues defence.

Just after the half-time interval, central defender Jordan Boon took a quick free-kick which was expertly taken down by Nathan Caine, who managed to find a yard of space to unleash a goalbound effort that was well saved by Luke Pilling in the home goal.

A further opportunity came through Adam Dawson, who fired narrowly high from a close-range free-kick.

Less than 10 minutes later, Caine would again find himself with the ball in the Rylands area, but this time he fired the ball across to an on-rushing Mansell who could not quite reach it.

But the pressure from Rylands stepped up and another trademark great save from O’Shaughnessy denied the ever-dangerous Adama Sidibeh, who looked to add to his 14-goal tally for the campaign.

Credit must likewise go to defender Mo Ali, who kept the free-scoring Rylands forward at bay throughout the afternoon.

In the second half, Lewis Coulton made his comeback to Colls action following a short absence, and looked raring to go as he returned to his natural left-back position.

With 10 minutes left in the game, a ball in behind the defence from Sidi Fofana found Solomon-Davies, who managed to get a great cross across to Lusiama, and he fired home with aplomb to restore parity between the sides, scoring his third goal in his last four appearances.

The remaining 10 minutes were tense as both sides pushed for a winner, but it ended honours even at Gorsey Lane, with the Colls keeping Rylands at arm’s length while fighting for a winner of their own.

The Colls are back in action today, welcoming Workington to the Skuna Stadium.

Atherton Colls: Joe O’Shaughnessy, Josh Solomon-Davies, Jack Evans, Ben Rydel, Jordan Boon (Lewis Coulton 68), Mo Ali, Oli Putnam (Jordan Scanlon 81), Sidi Fofana, Lewis Mansell (Enock Lusiama 71), Adam Dawson, Nathan Caine. Subs not used: Dylan Moonan, Dylan Thompson.