Glasshoughton Welfare came within a whisker of sharing the spoils at home to Basford United when only an unfortunate late defensive error denied them a deserved point in the Toolstation NCE Premier Division.
In an even game Welfare were unlucky to lose 3-2 to opponents who stand in fourth place in the table.
The hosts came close to opening the scoring early on after visiting custodian Ali Barcherini made an error, but they were left to rue the missed opportunity as United went away to score through Ryan Whitehurst on 10 minutes.
Welfare were almost lifted when Andy Seed nipped through only for his close range angled shot to be blocked out at the last minute. Following a good build-up United almost extended their lead, Whitehurst having an effort cleared off the line.
The hosts’ task became theoretically easier as Basford’s Stuart Hendrie was dismissed just before half-time for kicking out at an opponent. But Basford scored again after the break through a bizarre goal, Reece Chappell appearing to head off his own line from a corner and keeper Paul Hagreen turning the ball into his own net.
Undaunted, Welfare surprisingly hit back to reduce the arrears with a superb 77th minute header by Reece Chappell from a left side free-kick by Matt Cressey.
This gave Glasshoughton a fresh impetus and it was no surprise when with only minutes remaining they forged the equaliser as Colan Leung drove home hard and low.
With the clock ticking down it appeared Welfare had done enough to share the spoils, but in a last sortie by United keeper Hagreen had the misfortune to spill a harmless looking cross and the lurking Whitehurst steered in to an open goal to snatch full points for the visitors and cruelly deny the home men what should have been a much deserved share.
Welfare had once again shown that they could live with the better sides in the division and they are aiming to continue their encouraging finish to the season when away to Lincoln Moorlands Railway this Saturday (3pm).
They then play their final home match of the season next Tuesday when Staveley MW are the visitors for a game kicking off at 7.45pm.