Stocksbridge Park Steels hopes of avoiding the drop suffered a huge blow with an injury time goal sending them down to a 4-3 defeat against relegation rivals Frickley Athletic at Bracken Moor.
It saw the visitors pick up their first away league win at the 12th time of asking, while it left Steels third from bottom of the Premier Division, nine points adrift of safety and facing an uphill task in the second half of the campaign if they are to avoid slipping back into Division One after five seasons in the top flight.
The home side made a good start, taking a 10th minute lead when Nathan Joynes headed in at the far post from debutant Bradley Grayson’s cross.
Tyler Collishaw nodded in from a Luke Hinsley cross to restore parity on 21 minutes but Steels regained the lead just a minute later, Danny South beating goalkeeper James Hitchcock to a 50-50 ball to head home.
Six minutes from the break it was all square once more as Gavin Allott converted from the penalty spot following a Brett Bowden-Lovell foul. Frickley then went in front for the first time nine minutes into the second half through a Hinsley header. Stocksbridge then equalised on the hour mark with the award of soft penalty that was converted by South, his second of the game.
In the second minute of time added on, Hitchcock made a brilliant save from a South header to deny Steels what would have been the winner, and just to rub salt in the wound from the long clearance up-field Allott got away to rifle home to give Frickley all-three points to move five clear of the drop zone.
At the other end of the table, Worksop Town stretched their unbeaten run to 11 games after coming from behind to beat Ilkeston FC 5-2 at home to stay level on points with second-placed Chorley.
Gary Ricketts fired the visitors into a sixth minute lead but their joy was short lived as just five minutes later Leon Mettam latched onto a long clearance from the returning Jon Stewartto score with a sublime lob. Mettam then steered home a Jack Muldoon cross to put the Tigers in front.
Ilkeston had Che Adams sent-off three minutes before the break for an elbow on Jake Scott and although the visitors made a lively start to the second half, Worksop increased the lead on 57 minutes through Conor Higginson with a clinical finish from the edge of the area. Mettam scored the goal of the game with a shot on the turn from 25-yards on the angle to complete his fourth treble of the season.
Chris Salt’s own-goal saw the visitors narrow the deficit but Tom Denton added Worksop’s fifth in the last minute, heading in from a Alex Pursehouse free-kick before Ilkeston were reduced to nine-men deep into time added on.
Buxton’s home clash against Matlock Town was abandoned at half-time due to floodlight failure.
Sheffield FC saw their play-off hopes take a knock with a 2-0 defeat at Division One promotion rivals Belper Town. Club hit the woodwork either side of the interval, then suffered a blow with the loss of winger Ben Algar in the second half with a suspected dislocated shoulder.
Jonathan Froggatt produced one of the games few quality moments ,scoring with a fine half volley into the top corner to give Belper an 88th minute lead. The hosts then wrapped up the points with the second in the last minute through a Froggatt free-kick after Rob Poulter had been sent off for bringing down substitute Keiron Wells just outside the box.
Sheffield will look to get their play-off challenge back on track tomorrow at Chasetown.