Spalding United let two valuable points slip away to basement side Tividale on Saturday.
There is still a way to go yet but this game had all of the earmarks of a typical end-of-season affair on a sticky pitch which had been deemed unplayable in recent weeks.
But the Tulips could look back and justifiably claim that two dubious decisions by match officials contributed to their failure to return home with maximum points.
Firstly Paul Walker was harshly penalised for an innocuous challenge on Chris Raybone to concede a penalty which Chris Sterling converted to level the score on 34 minutes.
Then in the later stages of the game Dan Banister ran through the defence to pick up Jamie Graham’s deflected free-kick and beat goalkeeper Tom Turner with a clinical finish, only to be denied by the raised flag of an assistant referee.
The Tulips had got off to a cracking start with a goal after 10 minutes.
Walker and Banister interchanged passes on the right side and when the ball was whipped into the area Graham side-stepped a defender to shoot into the top corner, giving Turner no chance.
An almost identical break within minutes ended with Tom Waumsley’s effort dipping just over the crossbar.
Tividale battled with great determination and created chances but were thankful to skipper Turner on 28 minutes when he tipped a good shot by Waumsley over the bar.
From the resulting corner kick Graham saw his close-range effort blocked on the line.
The home team were back on level terms six minutes later with Sterling outwitting goalkeeper Michael Duggan with a confident penalty kick.
Tividale were out of the blocks like a race horse for the start of the second period and forced a goalline block by Ellis Humble.
Banister had a good run down the middle of the park and shot inches wide of the target.
New signing Jamie Tricks made his debut as a replacement for Waumsley and quickly made his mark with a stinging close-range blockbuster.
A couple of good headed shots followed in and from a corner the ball rebounded from a post in a packed penalty area.
Tividale continued to make life difficult for the Tulips with some committed play but the scoreline remained level.
Spalding: Duggan, Walker, Jackson, Humble, Stainfield, Murphy, Banister, Lee (sub Sanders 62 mins), Waumsley (sub Tricks 63 mins), Graham, Lawlor. Sub not used: Hussey.