Pontefract Collieries’ run without a win in all competitions was extended to five games as they were robbed of a point by a late goal at Belper Town in the Evo-Stik East Division.
Colls looked set to record a much needed victory when going in front in the first half, but they went down 3-2 and slipped to ninth place in the table as a result.
Belper started well as Ponte keeper Ryan Musselwhite was forced to make a good save early on to deny George Milner.
Musselwhite then got fingertips to Rikki Paylor’s header, with the ball hitting the underside of the bar. Home supporters reckoned the ball had crossed the line, but Colls scrambled the ball away and went straight down the other end to open the scoring, Eli Hey nipping in to beat home keeper Leigh Overton.
Belper hit back seven minutes later as George Milner set up Derry Robson to equalise.
Ponte top scorer Hey had a couple of half chances to put his side back ahead, but was off target with a header and a shot and it stayed 1-1 to half-time.
Five minutes into the second period Belper struck again when Milner again provided the assist for Alex Peterson, who was left with a tap-in to make it 2-1.
Colls were opened up again, but Nathan Curtis and Milner both saw efforts comfortably saved by Musselwhite.
The visitors dug in and hit back to level the game up when Jack Greenhough’s long throw was not dealt with by the home defence and Hey was unmarked at the far post to be able to power home a shot past keeper Overton.
Both sides went for a winner, but it looked they would have to settle for a point until Belper came up with the deciding goal two minutes from time. There seemed no danger as Milner, who had been their most dangerous player, received the ball in his own half, but he went on a great run before hitting an unstoppable shot into the net.
It was tough on Ponte after they had put so much effort into the game and it dropped them below Belper in the table.
They will be looking to get back on the winning track this Saturday in a third successive away game when travelling to play Lincoln United, who are enjoying a good season, currently up in fourth place, three points above Pontefract having played a game more.
Colls need not be short of confidence as they beat Lincoln 3-0 in their first-ever Evo-Stik League game back in August, but their opponents have improved since then.