Atherton Collieries started the year with a point as they played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Lancaster City in bank holiday Northern Premier League action.
Bailey Thompson gave the hosts the lead in the first half with his maiden Colls goal, before Dom Lawson struck late on for the visitors to see the spoils shared at the Skuna Stadium.
Lancaster enjoyed more of the early pressure, with Colls kicking directly into the low January sunshine. David Norris went closest with a warning-shot volleyed narrowly wide of Nico Defreitas-Hansen's post.
Despite their lack of possession it was Colls who seized the initiative through in the 30th minute when Bailey Thompson nodded a looping header into the far corner, courtesy of Scott Bakkor's inch-perfect cross.
It was a touching moment as Thompson ran to celebrate with manager Brad Cooke - a personal triumph for the striker who spent much of the previous year fighting back from a long-term injury lay-off.
Colls were desperately unlucky not to double their advantage, Gaz Peet's spectacular free-kick tipped onto the crossbar via the fingertips of Sam Waller, with Luca Defreitas-Hansen's follow-up also thwarted.
Following the break, Lancaster grew into the game and dominated much of the chances. The breakthrough almost came through Charlie Bailey, who forced Nico Defreitas-Hansen into a smart save at his near post.
Despite the Colls defence standing firm, a lapse in communication with ten minutes remaining presented Dom Lawson with a golden chance, running onto the ball and firing home to restore parity at the death.
The timing of the goal was a frustrating set-back for Colls but probably a fair reflection on the balance of play and despite a flurry of end-to-end action in the dying stages, both sides eventually settled for the draw.
Colls are back in action next Saturday (January 7th) as they make the short journey across Greater Manchester to face Hyde United. Kick off 3pm.
Colls: Nico Defreitas-Hansen, Clive Smith, Gaz Peet, Joel Amado, Daniel Lafferty (C), Luca Defreitas Hansen, Arran Pettifier (Jay Fitzmartin 85'), Oliver Brown, Scott Bakkor, Jack Lenehan (Ethan Kershaw 74'), Bailey Thompson (Marcus Cusani 60')
Subs (unused): Adam Rooney
Man of the Match: Luca Defreitas-Hansen (Sponsored by My Cross To Bar - Colls USA)
Report: Danny Brown
Photo: Dave Featherstone