Brackley Town dropped yet more points to late goals on Tuesday evening when they threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with title-chasing Hednesford Town.
Saints, who were looking to build on Saturday’s 5-0 thumping over Bradford PA, have now dropped 14 points to goals conceded in the last 10 minutes as they remain outside the play-off places with just five games remaining.
Hednesford dominated possession for large chunks of Tuesday’s encounter without creating clear-cut chances and it was Brackley that took a narrow lead into the break courtesy of a 20-yard strike of exhilarating power and unerring accuracy from Eddie Odhiambo.
Although Saints began the second half well, Hednesford threatened as a slick move up the left saw Dave MacPherson turn the cross just wide before Charlie Anagho-Ntamark fired wide when well-placed with the defence stretched.
At the other end, Saints were denied what looked a penalty, the referee choosing to award a free-kick on the very edge of the penalty area instead. Glenn Walker struck his shot low and it evaded the defensive wall to find the corner of Crane’s net to extend the visitors’ lead with 68 minutes on the clock.
The Pitmen toiled to find a way back and it seemed Saints would hold on for a decisive win in the battle at the top, but once again Brackley failed to hold onto a lead as Hednesford struck twice in the final five minutes to earn the draw and a vital point on a night when others drew also and tellingly Guiseley won at a canter against table-toppers Telford to enhance their credentials.
On 85 minutes, it was substitute Paul Sullivan who turned in a cross from the left and three minutes later Wayne Riley headed home in a crowded penalty area to complete the late comeback.
Brackley: Turley, Clerima, Langdon, Odhiambo, Sharpe, R. Austin, Mulligan (Rowe 64), Solkhon, Moore (Bridges 76), M. Austin, Walker.
Hednesford: Crane, Disney, Campion, Bailey, McCone, McPherson, Osborne (Thompson-Brown 8), Johnson, Glover (Sullivan 74), Anagho-Ntamark (Robinson 59), Riley.