Glasshoughton Welfare failed to hold onto a two-goal half-time lead when they entertained Ollerton Town at a cold TJs Arena on Saturday.
Joint managers Darren Holmes and Lee Vigars were left scratching their heads and wondering why their charges had not put this game to bed before the break.
Welfare appeared to be coasting to an easy win with first half goals from Lewis Akeister and Conor Glavin. However, Josh Bowkett and Gav King with late goals for the visitors saw an entertaining Toolstation NCE Division One game end in a draw.
New signing Jack Murray made his debut and Mitchell Wilshire made his first start. Josh Bucknall came back into the side but a big with normal centre forward Andy Horbury donning the gloves after Jordan Bradshaw decided to take a break from the game.
Horbury had no chance with either goal and his handling of the ball especially with high crosses impressed fans.
Welfare attacked from the first whistle and Murray bypassed a number of defenders, but saw his shot cleared away from the goal-line.
The normally reliable Glavin hit an effort out of the ground from 15 yards with only keeper Jack Dickins to beat and Dickins thwarted Glavin with a low save. At the other end Bowkett headed wide before Welfare took the lead with a quality goal from Akeister. Glavin laid the ball off and Akeister hit the ball high into the net from 25 yards.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 as a throw-in was flicked on by Ash Scothern and Glavin headed home. Horbury was quick off his line to foil King while Lewis Bingham and Bowkett hit efforts wide. As the half drew to a close another effort from Glavin was hit well over.
On the resumption Murray hit a tame shot at Dickins and Scothern fired wide. Scothern then saw an effort well blocked by the keeper. Bucknall headed down to Wilshire who hooked his effort over. Wilshere then just failed to get onto the end of an Alex Marsh cross.
The visitors pulled a goal back on 70 minutes when Bowkett gave Horbury no chance with a strike from the edge of the area.
Welfare were then reduced to 10 men when Akeister was red carded for a tackle in which he seemed to win the ball first.
Horbury saved well from Bowkett at his near post but the visitors earned a point five minutes from the end when King was allowed space to run on and beat the stand in keeper.
Disappointed joint Welfare manager Lee Vigars said: “Two points thrown away. We had complete control and went in two up at half- time when in all honesty it should have been five or six. It’s the missed chances that have come back and bitten our backsides.
“Lewis and Conor gave us a good start and we were coasting. The number of missed chances always gives the opposition hope and as soon as Ollerton pulled one back it was going to be a struggle. It was made harder after the ridiculous decision to send Lewis off after he won the ball in a great challenge. In the end we were holding onto a game that we should have had won an hour earlier. Lessons learned for the boys and hopefully they will come back stronger.”
Welfare missed out on a second round West Riding County Cup tie against National League Halifax Town after losing 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out at Thackley on Tuesday night.
The first round tie ended 1-1 after Mitchell Wilshere put Houghton ahead after 22 minutes, but a Matthew Cunliffe own goal levelled up the tie seven minutes into the second half.
Glasshoughton travel to play Winterton Rangers in the league this Saturday (3pm).