A FREAK wind-assisted goal earned Staithes a deserved draw after they came back from 4-1 down to earn a point.
With a strong wind blowing straight down the pitch, this created two halves of play dominated by the team kicking with the wind.
With Ayton having the wind at their backs in the first half, they took the lead on 20 minutes with a headed goal from Simpson.
Staithes replied when awarded a penalty for handball and Starsmore fired home.
The wind created havoc for the Staithes defenders and Ayton scored with a super volley from Witherley and a neatly-placed header from Mannering.
Against the run of play, Hindson rounded the Staithes keeper to increase the lead.
The pace and strength of Starsmore was causing Ayton problems and he reduced the deficit on the hour from the spot before collecting his hat-trick with a header.
Staithes levelled when a Rice corner was carried into the net by the win.
Staithes continued to hunt for the winning goal, but Ayton just managed to hang on for the draw.
Great Ayton 4 Staithes Ath 4