Holbeach United edged closer to the UCL Premier Division title after drawing 2-2 with second-placed St Ives Town on Saturday, while Spalding United saw off Long Buckby 2-1 and Deeping Rangers drew 2-2 at Cogenhoe United.
Starting at Carter’s Park, Holbeach came within a whisker of lifting the league title after second-half goals from Deakan Napier (67) and Andrew Tidswell (77) wiped out David Cobb’s second minute opener. But a last-minute header from sub Arron Last kept St Ives in the title race following a breathless battle.
The second-placed Saints bossed the first period after making the best-possible start to the top-of-the-table clash.
Ex-Deeping winger Cobb drilled home the opener after catching the Tigers cold early on. The hosts didn’t have a shot on target in the first half and were perhaps fortunate to go in just one down.
It was a different story after the break, though. Knowing a win would seal their first title in a decade, home debutant Napier – making his first start in yellow and black – nodded home a deserved leveller from close range 23 minutes from time.
Leading scorer Tidswell then bundled home what looked like being a title-winning goal at the near post, lifting the roof off Carter’s Park.
Holbeach’s hopes suffered a blow moments later when Dan Flack was sent off for a late tackle – and the visitors made their numerical advantage pay in the final minute when Last beat Michael Emery to a Cobb corner and headed into the unguarded net.
The duo meet again at St Ives on Tuesday week, with the Tigers needing just a draw to be crowned champions. Even if they lose, a win at basement boys Irchester United on the final day would still be good enough for John Chand’s side.
The draw was also a good result for third-placed Spalding, who closed the gap on St Ives to just four points with a game in hand.
They saw off the 2012 champions Long Buckby 2-1 at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, with first-half goals from Dan Cotton (penalty) and Jay Smedley enough for Pat Rayment’s men.
With second place good enough for promotion, the Tulips remain on-course for a return to step four of the non-league ladder.
Deeping remain fourth after they twice came from behind to draw at Cogenhoe. Goals from Alex Beck and Ciaran Holt keep Tuncay Korkmaz’s men in the driving seat to emulate last season’s top four finish.
Down a level to the UCL Division One, Bourne Town suffered a 5-2 beating at high-flying AFC Rushden and Diamonds.
In Peterborough and District League, Moulton Harrox remain a point clear at the top of the Premier Division, with two games in hand, after edging past Uppingham Town 1-0 at Broad Lane.
Crowland Town stay fifth after an excellent 3-1 win at Coates Athletic, while Pinchbeck United were held 0-0 by Parson Drove at Knight Street.
Deeping Rangers Reserves also drew 2-2 at lowly Riverside Rovers.
More football in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press.
UCL Premier Division: Cogenhoe United 2 Deeping Rangers 2; Desborough Town 0 Newport Pagnell Town 2; Holbeach United 2 St Ives Town 2; Irchester United 4 Boston Town 5; Quorn 0 Huntingdon Town 2; Sleaford Town 1 Harborough Town 3; Spalding United 2 Long Buckby 1; Stewarts & Lloyds Corby 2 AFC Kempston Rovers 1; Yaxley 1 Wellingborough Town 1.
UCL Division One: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 5 Bourne Town 2; Buckingham Town 0 Rushden and Higham United 2; Bugbrooke St Michaels 6 Rothwell Corinthians 2; Burton Park Wanderers 1 Wellingborough Whitworth 1; Northampton Sileby Rangers 3 Potton United 0; Northampton Spencer 3 Northampton ON Chenecks 0; Oadby Town 2 Eynesbury Rovers 2; Thrapston Town 0 Olney Town 2; Wootton Blue Cross 2 Harrowby United 2.
Peterborough & District League: Premier Division: Coates Athletic 1 Crowland Town 3; Leverington Sports 4 Ramsey Town 1; Moulton Harrox 1 Uppingham Town 0; Oakham United 3 Kings Cliffe United 0; Peterborough Sport Parkway 1 Peterborough ICA Sports 0; Pinchbeck United 0 Parson Drove 0; Riverside Rovers 2 Deeping Rangers Res 2; Whittlesey United 0 Netherton United 1. Division One: Farcet United 0 Hampton Sport 2; King’s Lynn Town Reserves 3 Stamford Belvedere 0; Langtoft United 0 Ketton 1; Maccasports 7 Holbeach United Reserves 4; Sawtry 2 Sutton Bridge United 3; Thorney 2 Ryhall United 1. Division Two: Crowland Town Reserves 2 Oundle Town 5; Deeping Rangers A 3 Guyhirn 2; Leverington Sports Res 2 Peterborough ICA Sports Res 1. Division Three: Peterborough ICA Sports A 2 Netherton United A 0; Uppingham Town Reserves 1 Whittlesey United Reserves 5. Division Four: Farcet United Reserves 2 Oakham United A 3; Ketton Reserves 1 Thorney Reserves 0; Riverside Rovers Reserves 0 Wittering 1; Warboys Town Reserves 3 Parkway Eagles 2. Division Five: Baston Reserves 2 Tydd St Mary 1; Hampton Sport Reserves 1 Pinchbeck United 2; Peterborough Sport Parkway A 3 Glinton United 1; Ryhall United A 2 AFC Peterborough 1.
The Intermediate Shield: Long Sutton Athletic Reserves 0 Peterborough Sport Parkway Reserves 1; Warboys Town 4 Kings Cliffe United Reserves 3.
Boston & District League: Premier Division: Billinghay Ath 1 Pointon 0; Fishtoft 1 Old Doningtonians 5; Freiston 0 Spilsby Town 0. Division One: Mareham Utd 2 Coningsby 2; Wainfleet Utd 0 Spalding Harriers 3; Wyberton Res 0 Woodhall Spa Utd 4. Division Two: Coningsby Res 1 Leverton 0; Kirton Town Res 4 Westside Rangers 2; Nelson 2 Holbeach Bank 0; Old Doningtonians Res 2 Fishtoft Res 4; Park Utd 1 Fosdyke 5. Division Three: Friskney 2 Burgh Utd 1; Holbeach Bank Res 0 FC Hammers 4; Spalding Harriers Res 1 Swineshead Res 1; Sutterton Res 3 Tulip 4.
Sharman Burgess Sports Cup Quarter Finals: Ruskington Rovers 3 Kirton Town 2 (AET); Spalding Town 1 Skgenss Town Res 2; Swineshead 6 Old Leake 1; Wrangle Utd 2 Wyberton 4.