Daisy Hill had to settle for a point from a goalless draw at Darwen after a lively encounter in the North West Counties League First Division North on Saturday.

On a wet and windy afternoon in East Lancashire, a free-kick from Glenn Matthews, that rattled the bar, and a Sam Twist effort that clipped the side of the post came close to breaking the deadlock for Daisy in the early stages of the second half.

But the home side piled on the pressure in the closing minutes, resulting in the Daisy defence having to defend desperately as the clock ticked down.

And after the game, Daisy coach Lewis Woodcock felt a draw was a fair result in the end.

“Darwen are in good form, they came into the game on the back of a decent win, and are not too far off the play-off places, so for us it’s a good result away from home and we’ll take it,” said Woodcock.

“First half, we had a couple of chances and so did they, but I felt for the majority of the second half we were the better team.

“We had chances we could have put away, and should have gone in front when we were on top.

“In the last five or 10 minutes they stuck it on us a bit, although overall I think we probably edged it. Credit to the lads, they defended superbly at the end, with some great blocks.

“It’s great to see the lads showing togetherness, especially in that last five minutes.

“I think every one of them probably got a block in at some point, and it was really pleasing to see the commitment they showed.

“In some ways, the game reflected the story of our season. We defended well, and just missed chances at crucial moments.

“But we will take a draw and in the grand scheme of things, it’s a good point for us.”

The first half was evenly-contested in terms of territory and pressure, although neither keeper was seriously tested.

Daisy’s best effort came on 24 minutes when a good move down the left led to Ben Howarth setting up Twist for a shot that flew just over.

On the half-hour mark, Darwen responded with a Brayden Shaw free-kick from just outside the box that just missed the far post, but once the sides emerged after the half-time break, it was Daisy who took control of the game.

Three minutes in, Twist burst through a gap in the home defence and rifled a shot just over the bar, and moments later, centre-back Matthews was desperately unlucky to see a beautifully-struck free-kick from 25 yards hit the underside of the bar, before being cleared.

Darwen did manage to put the ball in the back of the net on 57 minutes, only for Max Cane’s tap-in from close range to be ruled offside by the flag of the assistant referee, but it was a rare moment during a spell of domination by the visitors.

At the midway point in the half, three chances came along in as many minutes for Daisy, with firstly a good move leading to Twist firing in a shot that clipped the outside of the past, before Tom Brown stung the palms of Darwen keeper Henry Turner with a well-struck effort the keeper could only palm away.

When Daisy won back possession, yet another chance was missed when Ben Unsworth’s shot from Alex Dodd’s pass flew narrowly past the far post.

However, as the game wore on, there was a nagging suspicion the missed chances could be costly, and nerves in the visiting camp were jangling as Darwen began to apply pressure in the final 10 minutes.

Home strikers Cane and Shaw both passed up good opportunities, and with eight minutes remaining Darwen’s Leon Creech beat Daisy keeper Morgan Newns to a loose ball in the box, but when his cross towards goal was only partially cleared into the path of Akim Samms, the substitute blasted over from a good position.

The closing minutes were played out almost entirely in the Daisy half, with Darwen winning a series of corners that required some desperate defending and some anxious moments in the visiting ranks.

But Daisy held on to secure a point and record their first goalless draw in a league fixture since September 2019.

Daisy were scheduled to be back in action tonight at home against Ashton Athletic in another North West Counties League First Division North, but the game was postponed on Monday afternoon after a pitch inspection deemed the pitch waterlogged.