BINFIELD FC are not going to win the title, but last Saturday they showed they can live with the best in the Hellenic League by holding runaway leaders Highworth Town to a 1-1 draw, writes Dave Wright.

The Moles were rather fortunate to be only a goal down at the interval, but they improved in the second half, equalised through Brad Pagliaroli and missed a golden opportunity to grab a shock victory.

They certainly deserved to hold the Worthians who had won 19 and drawn two of their previous 22 league games.

On the sloping pitch at The Elms, Roger Herridge’s men made a bright start and Ian Davies was not far away from giving them the lead inside the opening minute, chipping the ball just wide.

They continued to give account of themselves – at least until the 25th minute.

Keeper Henry Craven did well to tip a shot for a corner, but the flag kick caused problems in front of the Binfield goal before being hacked clear. However, the ref’s assistant signalled a goal, later indicating that it was a couple of inches over the line with Callum Parsons being named the scorer.

The goal appeared to stun the Moles and they immediately came under pressure with Jason Milhench racing clear, only to shoot wide, and Craven pulled off three excellent saves in the space of six minutes.

Midfielder Phil John, who recently joined the Worthians from Bracknell, then did get the ball into the net, but it was ruled out for offside.

Binfield were on the ropes. But, to their credit, they had weathered the storm by half-time although Craven had to make another smart save early in the second half.

With inspirational skipper James Knight urging them on, the Moles continued to hold their own against the leaders although for a time they struggled to find a way through the home defence. When a chance did fall their way, Alex Colverd volleyed wide.

However, they did equalise after 64 minutes when a smart move down the right was transferred to the far side, where Pagliaroli drove the ball low past former Binfield keeper Garry Aulsberry.

Carlo Santoro, having a fine game, was involved in the build-up and the youngster also helped up a golden opportunity for Will Shaw, who had been on the pitch for a just a few minutes, but the substitute shot over an open goal from eight yards.

“He had only just got on and the chance came a bit too soon for him,” commented Herridge.

Josh Howell also an effort pushed aside by Aulsberry as the visitors threatened again.

The Wiltshire side have been scoring late goals recently, so Binfield could never relax, but they held on without too many anxious moments.

The Moles take on Fairford Town at Hill Farm Lane this Saturday (3pm ko) and then host Bracknell Town on Wednesday of next week (7.45pm ko), the derby having been switched from Boxing Day.