FRUSTRATED Gresford Athletic boss Steve Halliwell felt that a reckless challenge from midfielder Tom Freeman cost his side victory in the 1-1 draw with Rhyl.

The Colliers extended their unbeaten run to 11 games despite Freeman’s sending off midway through the second half for a two-footed challenge on former Gresford defender Max Peate.

A windswept first half produced few goalscoring chances of note, with Lilywhites midfielder Gareth Partridge firing wide when well placed early on.

Home keeper Reece Airey then thwarted former Collier Sam Molyneux’s run on goal with a well-timed block as the half ended goalless.

The hosts’ strong start to the second half saw Jake Eyre fire narrowly wide, before Jordan MacCarter’s effort hit the post.

Having already been booked in the first half, Freeman was then dismissed for a poor lunge on Peate in the 67th minute.

Despite the setback, the hosts went ahead in style just five minutes later when midfielder Sam Pilkington advanced towards the area and unleashed a superb strike that sailed beyond Rhyl keeper Rory Crowther and into the top corner.

But Rhyl made their numerical advantage count in the closing stages and drew level in the 81st minute when Mike Pritchard’s knock down was rifled home from close range by Molyneux to deny his former club.

Halliwell said: “First of all I’m delighted that we’ve kept this unbeaten run going after coming through such a tough tough run of fixture. But based on our second half performance we feel this was a game we could have won if it wasn’t for the sending off.

“On his day, Tom is one of the best players in this league, but he’s let us down massively with a poor challenge - it was a nasty one.

“But that doesn’t overshadow the overall performance, I’m so pleased with the desire of the players who dig in and fight for every point.They are a credit to the Gresford badge.”

Ruthin were 4-2 winners at home to Prestatyn, Denbigh lost 1-0 at Llanrhaeadr, while Penrhyncoch drew 1-1 at Guilsfield.