Bedlington Terriers threw away points from a winning position but managed to hang on to claim a crucial point against Bishop Auckland at Welfare Park.
Liam Hudson tapped home from close range on 13 minutes before Jonathan Wright scored possibly the goal of the season eight minutes later.
But the visitors got back in it when Andrew Johnson pulled one back on 29 minutes, and the game was all square when Arjun Purewal headed home powerfully.
Both sides pressed for a winning goal in the second half, but neither prevailed and they had to settle for a point apiece.
Andy Ferrell’s men had nine games before this one to try and avoid relegation, and they gave themselves the best chance by getting ahead early on.
A fantastic advantage was played by referee Stephen Dial, which allowed the ball to be threaded through to youngster Michael Baxter and he slotted across the box for Hudson, who tapped home from close-range at the back post.
It was shortly after that the hosts managed to extend their lead after some direct football was rounded off superbly. Hudson recovered the opportunity and pulled it back to Wright, who struck his shot brilliantly into the top corner.
Ian Ward could only head down Scott McCarthy’s accurate cross towards the keeper before the visitors pulled one back.
There was a hint of offside to the goal as Jack Errington headed back to his keeper, but Johnson was alert and after lobbing the keeper he tapped into an empty net.
The Bishops were level on 36 minutes after Purewal got ahead of his marker at the near post and headed home from a corner.
Ryan Beal produced a fantastic save to deny Johnson, and then Purewal skied a shot with the final kick of the half after Ward headed down for the skipper.
Ferrell’s men came out in the second half like a rejuvenated side and looked the more likely to get ahead.
Mason Stephenson went close before Edward Wilczynski was on hand to deny Wright his second goal of the evening.
Baxter saw a shot sail over the bar before the visitors also went close through Priestly Griffiths, but then the game began to stretch.
It was end-to-end action for the final ten minutes as both sides knew a draw would not be good enough as they both fight for a cause this season.
Johnson sliced wide after being put through, but again it was Terriers who looked more likely to go ahead and get a winning goal.
Marc Walton, who came on as a substitute for Baxter for the final 15 minutes, overhead kicked Paul King’s long throw and Hudson helped it on its way to goal, but the keeper recovered.
Pressure was being applied, however, Wright missed the target twice in the closing stages before Bedlington survived a late scare as Adam Nicholls’ shot went inches wide with the final kick of the game.
Bedlington Terriers: Beal, Pendlebury, Ferrell (Drane 69), Johnson, Errington, Stoneman, M.Stephenson, King, Hudson, Wright, Baxter (Walton 75). Subs not used: Allen, Bartlett.