PRESTWICH Heys missed the chance to put pressure on the top two in the Hallmark Security League First Division after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Abbey Hulton United.

Rio Wilson-Heyes put the third-placed hosts ahead with a sweet 12th-minute strike, but the visitors bounced back well to go into the break leading 2-1.

Heys earned a share of the spoils with a 54th-minute goal from Jamie Baguley, with the draw leaving them three points behind second-placed Litherland REMYCA.

Abbey went into Saturday's match with just one defeat from their opening 10 matches in what is their first season at this level.

But they had also drawn five and are fast becoming the division's draw specialists after the weekend's result.

In contrast, Saturday was Hey's first draw in the league this season, and it will have been met by a mixture of frustration and relief by manager Jon Lyons.

Visiting keeper Luke Birkinshaw was twice tested in the opening minutes, clawing away a deflected Wilson-Heyes cross from under the bar and then dropping sharply to keep out an Alfie Belcher shot.

Heys left-back Lewis Adams then fired a shot just wide before the early pressure from the home side finally told.

The Abbey defence struggled to clear a corner and Wilson-Heyes collected the ball 25 yards out to curl an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Some desperate defending was needed to keep Heys at bay as they attacked and moved at pace but the resilience of the visitors underlined why they have proved so difficult to beat this season.

A crisp passing move ended with Jamie Baguley seeing a shot held on the half hour but Abbey were beginning to enjoy much more possession and it took a smart save by Heys stopper Mark Baguley to keep out a John Birks shot.

Abbey levelled four minutes later, Kieron Ball tapping in after Mark Baguley failed to deal with a low cross, and the goalscorer drilled in a free kick to put the visitors in front four minutes before the break.

The half-time whistle came at the right time for Heys.

But while they started the second half back on the front foot, with Wilson-Heyes flashing a shot wide, Abbey missed two chances in quick succession to extend their lead, Baguley saving low from Birks and then Jordan Buxton putting a free header wide.

Jamie Baguley capitalised at the other end, hooking home the lose ball to equalise after James Brook's header from a Danny White corner was blocked.

It sparked a better spell from Heys in which Birkinshaw tapped a Malachi Slaven shot round the post, but the visitors were not without a threat themselves leading to a tense finale in increasingly slippery conditions.

In the 80th minute, Shaun Johnson, making a welcome comeback after injury, broke into the box to clip a shot over the advancing Abbey keeper but a defender got back to clear.

And Johnson was denied a late winner after having a shot blocked on the line in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Heys face a tough trip to fourth-placed Alsager on Saturday, while the reserves host Old Alts in the Manchester League Premier Division, after beating Leyland United 4-1 in the third round of the Lancashire Shield on Saturday.