CAMPION were left cursing after conceding a last-minute equaliser in their Christmas clash at lowly AFC Darwen yesterday afternoon.

The Red and Blacks were 1-0 up in their NWCFL First Division North game down in Lancashire, thanks to an early Luke Rhodes header, but Ryan Steele pegged them back at the last, when he nodded home Jake Townsend’s cross.

Darwen blazed an effort over the bar in the opening seconds, but then sustained Campion pressure forced a couple of corners.

And when Nicky Boshell swung a brilliant ball into the box, Rhodes leapt highest to head the mid-table visitors into the lead.

Darwen then had a good chance blocked, before Brad Emmerson made a great save from Sam Knowles to keep the Red and Blacks in front.

The hosts were starting to get on top, and it took a goalline clearance from Jake Maltby to stop Steele from equalising.

Boshell went close with a pair of half-volleys either side of the break, before the prolific Leon Creech cut inside and struck an effort just wide for Darwen.

Robbie Graham and Daniel Keane both had shots well saved by home goalkeeper James Whittingham, before he then tipped a Leon Hurles-Brook effort on to the crossbar.

Creech fired over from a free-kick into the box, before the same player headed a corner on to the bar.

Emmerson made a fine save from Nathan Bond in injury-time, but he was powerless to prevent that even later effort from Steele.

A desperate Campion tried to hit back, with half-chances for Graham and Mark Ferguson going begging at the death, but in the end they had to settle for a point.

Injury-time was even more dramatic in the NPL East Division derby between Brighouse and Liversedge.

Visitors Sedge found it hard going against their mid-table opponents, but they finally broke the deadlock when Ben Atkinson fired home from close-range with 15 minutes to go.

Both sides were then reduced to 10 men, when Sedge's Jack Stockdill and Brig's Corey Gregory were shown red cards after an off-the-ball scuffle.

The hosts refused to lie down, and they thought they had earned themselves a hard-fought point when Jack Boyle drilled home a 90th minute free-kick.

Sedge are top of the league for a reason though, and Joe Walton popped up to win the game for them in the sixth minute of added time.

With title rivals Marske United losing 2-1 at home to Stockton Town, Sedge are now three points clear at the summit with a game in hand.

Back in the NWCFL First Division North, and plucky Steeton were thoroughly outclassed by league leaders Bury AFC in front of a huge crowd of 972 at Marley.

Goals from Kris Holt and Abs Obasoto were enough to keep the visitors unbeaten in second, while the defeat means Steeton stay in mid-table.