RICHMOND Town returned to Wearside League action last Saturday with a draw at home to Silksworth Colliery Welfare.
Both teams took time to adjust to ta heavy pitch at Earls Orchard, but it was Richmond who came closest early on, when Liam Darville’s effort was deflected for a corner.
Minutes later, a dipping shot from Kalumn Holbrook forced the Silksworth goalkeeper Joe Clayton into the first of many saves.
New boy Jamie Clarke was always a threat, linking up well with winger Chris Pattison whose back heel left Clarke clear on goal, only for the offside flag to stop him in his tracks.
Town thought they had scored on the half hour when a cross from Clarke found Ben Darville, but his header was saved by Clayton before being cleared off the line.
Richmond finally took the lead on 40 minutes when Holbrook set up Clarke who shrugged off two defenders and placed the ball past the oncoming ‘keeper.
The second half started with Town still pressing for a second.
Liam Darville was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, but the Dalesmen’s free kick specialist Holbrook fired wide.
Solid defending from Silksworth paid off when they were awarded a free kick 40 yards out just after the hour.
The ball was floated into the area and centre forward William Crew managed to beat the onrushing Town ‘keeper Luke Newton to the ball, flicking the equaliser in with his head.
With ten minutes remaining, Richmond thought they had clinched the game when a shot from Clarke was saved but then spilled by Clayton.
Clarke was on hand to tap home but to the amazement of the Town players, the referee blew for a foul on the ‘keeper.
Town continued to press to the end but could not find that final touch to get the three points they probably deserved.
Attention now switches to tomorrow’s game – an 11.30am kick off at Earls Orchard in the FA North Riding Senior Cup against York City. This may not be York’s first team (who have a 3pm kick-off at Bootham Crescent), but it’s still a chance for the Dalesmen to take a senior scalp in a competitive game.