Brackley Town gave their survival hopes a boost when they earned a valuable point in a 1-1 draw away at play-off hopefuls Boston United.
In a game of few clear cut chances, Brackley took the lead through Sam Whittall before finally buckling under intense Boston pressure late in the second period, but they held out to claim a vital point in the battle at the bottom.
The result leaves Saints hovering above the drop zone in 19th, four points clear of relegation.
Glorious sunshine on a biting cold day brought the teams out for a commemorative photograph to mark the FA’s Football Remembers campaign in this the centenary of the start of WW1 to make this a special day for all in the crowd of 909.
Whittall’s 16th minute header came from a well-worked corner that saw the tall midfielder with time and space to pick his spot.
Boston were always a threat from set pieces and three times Saints scrambled the ball away before Zeph Thomas spurned the Pilgrims’ best chance steering his header just wide of Dean Snedker’s left-hand post.
Second half pressure built on Brackley as United brought two good saves low down from Snedker before substitute Ryan Rowe’s 70th minute header looped just wide as Saints mounted a rare foray forward and almost doubled the lead.
Within minutes, Boston were level as a lightning break down the left and cross into the penalty box saw Boston legend Marc Newsham stab home in a fairytale return to the side after lengthy injury.
A flurry of yellow cards, last-gasp saving tackle by Dwayne Samuels and late corners reflected Saints’ rear-guard action but they held out to earn a precious point.
Saints have a free weekend this week before returning to action next Saturday when they welcome title-chasing AFC Fylde to St James Park.
Brackley: Snedker, Samuels, Carruthers, Eddie Odhiambo, Sharpe, Austin, Nelson-Addy, Whittall, Waldon (Rowe), Green, Patten (Eric Odhiambo).
Boston: Joel Dixon, Mills, Steer, Kyle Dixon, Hollingsworth, Piergianni, Marrs, Fallah (McGhee 67), Thomas (Newsham 55), Jones, Felix.
Referee: Alf Greenwood