A 10-MAN Thistles team showed plenty of character to fight back for a 1-all home draw with Lismore cross-town rivals Workers in Far North Coast premier league soccer.
Workers took the initiative early when Paddy Kable surged forward and crossed for Jay Keevers to score, but not long after young striker Matt Keevers went off.
Keevers injured his ankle and may be out for at least six weeks.
But they continued to create chances, with only profligate finishing keeping Thistles in it.
Just before the break the Blues were reduced to 10 men when defender Jeremy Sullivan was shown the red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.
But his dismissal only served to harden the Blues' resolve and they produced a spirited second half.
It culminated in a goal to their inspirational leader Darren Beardow after some good lead-up play by Jake Nind.
The game had a frantic finish as both sides looked for a winner.
"I was very happy with our second half, the boys dug deep and showed a lot of spirit," Blues coach Rod Lees said.
Workers coach Zac Crowley was left to rue missed opportunities. "We should have come off at half-time three or four goals up and in the end that cost us," he said.
Richmond Rovers turned on a second-half master class to dispose of Ballina 4-1 at Nielson Park.
The goals all came after the break to Ian McGregor, Jake Heffernan, Brad Bugden and Matthew Olley before Matt Jeffery scored a consolation goal for the seasiders.
A first-half hat-trick from striker James Tomlinson gave Byron Bay a 3-0 home win over Casino.
The in-form Rams are the only side to have won their first four games, and lead the competition.
Lennox Head have also contin-ued their good start to the season with a 2-0 away win over Bangalow.
Byron Milne slotted a penalty and Luke Wakefield headed in the second goal for the Sharks.
Yesterday, Alstonville jumped up to second place with a 2-1 home win over Goonellabah.
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