Louis McCarthy, Liam Tomlin and Ryan Baxter returned to the starting line-up for the rearranged midweek league game at Cheadle Town.
Eccleshall could not have got off to a worse start when they went behind within a minute of the kick off. A cross into the box from Town skipper Warren Gaskin found the unmarked Ben Brooks at the back post and his free header left McCarthy with no chance. Stunned by this, Eagles looked to get back in the game and Jordan Benton tried from distance with home keeper Martin Blain off his line but it was wide of the post. Callum Feeney tried his luck minutes later but was again wide. Eccleshall survived another scare when a Justin Pickering cross was cleared from under the crossbar. Play was more even now with both sides creating chances. A Pickering free kick outside the box went just wide of the post on 32 minutes and shortly later a Paul Sunderland kick had to be cleared. On a number of occasions, the final pass was letting Eccleshall down. A Louis Downs run down the left led to a low cross into the box but George Woodroffe missed his kick. With half time approaching, Tokia Russell ran through and only a last minute tackle prevented an effort on goal.
HT: Cheadle Town 1 Eccleshall 0
Eccleshall could have been two down within a minute when Oliver Hatfield-Banton missed an easy chance in front of goal. Moments later, another chance went begging. Eagles equalised with a peach of a goal on 49 minutes. Jake Langdridge moved forward just inside the Cheadle half and, spotting Blain off his line, hit a shot from around 35 yards which dipped over the back-pedalling keeper beyond his reach and found the net. Nine minutes later, Cheadle were back in front when a cross into the box found Sunderland and his firm header found the corner of the net. Luke Lewis had a great chance to equalise four minutes later when through one on one with Blain but the keeper blocked his initial shot and Lewis blazed over from the rebound. Downs then set Langdridge up and his effort was well over the bar. A quick free kick by Shay Finney found Lewis but his low cross was poor. Shortly after, they were reduced to ten men when Ryan Baxter was sin-binned for a comment to the assistant referee. With time approaching, Eagles had a valid penalty call when Tom Wakefield was brought down in the box but this was turned down by referee Goodwin. They were not to be denied , however, and three minutes into added time, they were awarded a penalty for hand ball. With regular taker Benton off the pitch, Downs stepped up to send Blain the wrong way from the spot to equalise. There was final drama though as McCarthy was forced to block a final effort from Pickering before the whistle.
A share of the points was no more than the Eagles deserved and, with a little better finishing, could well have earned all three. Their battling effort will put them in good heart for the Staffordshire Senior Cup tie against Stoke City at Pershall Park next Wednesday.
FT: Cheadle Town 2 Eccleshall 2
Eagles: McCarthy, Tomlin (Wakefield), Woodroffe, Benton (Johnson), Collins, Langdridge, Lewis, Feeney, Baxter, Finney, Downs.
Unused subs: Dunn, Dundas, Pearson.