BROTHERS Mark and Neil Waterfield both netted to earn Fishburn Park a point which could yet see them retain their first division status, on Saturday.
Mavericks, who have reached two cup finals recently, proved uncompromising from the first whistle but the young Fishburn side matched them for the first quarter.
They were rewarded when Ian Smith was upended in the penalty area and captain Mark Waterfield scored from the spot for the second consecutive week to take the lead on 17 minutes.
Then, inexplicably, Park went onto the back foot and started to concede possession and territory time and time again as they struggled to compete with the physical demands.
It was no surprise when a free-kick awarded to Mavericks whipped into the penalty area resulted in a goal with a Park player adjudged to be the scorer. If that wasn’t enough, Fishburn contrived to concede another goal from a set piece on 40 minutes, with the defence failing to clear a tricky corner kick.
A few chosen words of encouragement at half-time had some effect and for the first 10 minutes of the second half, Fishburn were at least matching their opponents but for all their effort and determination it was hard to see where an equaliser would come from.
A change was needed and Al Price introduced Scott Thompson into the fray.
He chose to play Thompson in an unfamiliar role in the middle of midfield. Its effect was immediate,
Thompson began to win plenty of ball and almost single handedly disrupted the rhythm of Mavericks midfield.
His partnership with Callum Ward allowed Allan Price and Dean Ward to play further forward and the whole complexion of the game changed.
Suddenly Park were winning the ball in good positions and creating chances.
A corner awarded on 75 minutes was perfectly delivered by Dean Ward and met at the back post by Neil Waterfield whose powerful header flew into the back of the net before the home ‘keeper could react.
From then on in Fishburn pressed for a winning goal in an attempt to take three valuable points. Mavericks were reduced to attacking on the break but caused little alarm. Indeed, if any team was going to win it was Fishburn as Smith, Organ-Simpson, Ward, Fletcher and Price all went close but it was not to be.
Scott Thompson’s efforts were rewarded when he was voted joint man of the match alongside Dean Ward.
Park are now unbeaten in three consecutive games, something that has not happened all season.
However, that record will be sorely tested over the next few weeks when the remaining three fixtures, all at home, will see Grangetown BC, Acklam SC and Nunthorpe Athletic visit - all are vying for the league title.
Richmond Mavericks 2 Fishburn Park 2