Ilkley Town 2 Robin Hood Athletic 2

GOALS from Lee Spires and debutant Tom Archer rescued a Premier Division point for Ilkley.

The snow and freezing temperatures caused widespread postponements of matches in the Yorkshire region, and it was feared Ilkley would suffer the same fate.

The grass surface at Ben Rhydding Sports Club was frozen, while all hockey play was cancelled due to their artificial pitches also being deemed unplayable.

Fortunately, Ilkley's brand new 3G pitch was good to go, and so this hosted its first senior game on the surface.

With both sides struggling to get to grips with the rapid speed of the ball on the artificial surface, chances in the first half were limited.

The first major opportunity fell to Robin Hood after 49 minutes. Ilkley keeper James Hirst produced a fantastic low save to deny Daniel Bridges.

James Finlayson found the net on the follow up but his effort was disallowed for offside.

Robin Hood did go ahead when Ilkley centre-back Darren Munday's header had too much power for Hirst, drifting over the keeper and allowing an easy tap in for Jamie Lister.

Shortly the visitors made it 2-0 from the spot, after Adam Davey clattered through the back of Lister inside the box. Finlayson stepped up, and sent Hirst the wrong way, finding the bottom right corner.

Town refused to go down without a fight, and grabbed a goal back within minutes through debutant Tom Archer. The academy graduate found space on the edge of the box, and showed great composure to fire the ball under Lee Wood.

As Ilkley ploughed forward, Robin Hood thought they had done enough to secure the win. However, Spires had other ideas, as he drilled a free-kick low under the wall to level at 2-2.

There was just enough time for some last-minute drama, when Spires crossed the ball in to an unmarked Tim Edney, who couldn't sort his feet out to score. This proved the last kick of the game.

Ilkley coach Dave Houlston was not impressed with the performance, and believed Robin Hood were unfortunate not to get the win.

He said: "At 2-0 down I was pleased to get a point out of the game, but it would have been unfair on them if Tim (Edney) had scored at the end, they deserved at least a draw."

Town appear to be struggling to recapture their best form, following a heavy cup schedule, something which Houlston criticised.

He said: "The cups, as fun as they can be, have really distracted us and we haven't played particularly well in them and that has been the disappointment, that we haven't take any form out of them.

"For the first 25 minutes, we were second to every ball and very lethargic, with a poor attitude."