Belper Town left it late on Saturday to earn a point at home to Sutton Coldfield Town in a 2-2 draw in the Evo-Stik League Division One South.
After three successive victories in all competitions, the Nailers were looking to continue their good run of form. Dan White failed a late fitness test meaning Shaun Roulston came in alongside Richard Adams at centre half. Shaun Tuton kept his place in the side ahead of Jamie Jackson after his recent good performances.
It was the Nailers who started the game on top, dominating possession and forcing the Royals back deep inside their own half.
The first good opportunity came for Belper when Lee Thompson picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and fired a right-footed shot that was goal bound, only for a tremendous save by Lee Evans, who sprung himself high to his top left hand post to parry it out.
The Nailers then kept the pressure up and were rewarded with a 32nd minute penalty when Shaun Tuton was pushed to the ground by Stuart McNaught in the six-yard area.
Jon Froggatt stepped up but saw his low drive pushed behind for a corner by the impressive Evans.
The second half began much the same as the first with constant pressure from Belper, who finally found the breakthrough on the 50th minute.
Froggatt picked the ball up on the half way line and his clever turn led to a perfect through ball for Chris Adam who sprinted through and neatly tucked away his low finish.
The goal seemed to galvanise the Royals, who took the game to Belper.
On the hour, when Luke Chapman’s corner from the right was whipped in, Craig Marshall found himself free at the back post to drill his headed effort into the top corner.
The next 20 minutes were then played in a more frantic manner with both teams trying to force the ball.
A series of yellow cards for each team upset the flow of agame which was by no means short of a competitive edge. .
The game was then turned on its head with nine minutes of normal time to go when a direct free kick by Jamie Sheldon 25 yards from goal to the left was crossed in and evaded everybody to bounce its way into the far corner.
However, the Nailers refused to lie down, and their response was first class.
Two late substitutions and a change in tempo saw Belper push the Royals deep inside their own half.
And on the 95th minute Belper, got their long-awaited reward when Glyn Cotton’s smart cross was met by Jon Froggatt deep at the back post.
He steered his header into the roof of the net and sent scenes of celebration around the ground as the spoils were rightfully shared at the final whistle.
n This Saturday, the Nailers are in FA Cup action at Ilkeston FC (3pm).