BRIGHOUSE Town salvaged a point at the death, after once again coming up against an in-form goalkeeper.
Fortunately substitute Shane Hamilton with just 20 seconds left of four minutes of added time headed home at the far post after a tremendous ball into the box from Tom Brown.
Town deserved more than a point from their clash with the Derbyshire outfit after being the front-runners for most of the game and their keeper Ben Imeson a virtual spectator.
Again, as in the midweek League Cup tie with Shirebrook, the pitch was the great leveller as the bounce of the ball often spoiled the promise of a good passing movement.
Player-manager Paul Quinn said: “As a squad, at this stage of the season, we need to be winning games.
“I thought we were dominant throughout, but we lacked quality when it came to finishing.
“This time of year we need to be grinding the results out.
“I don’t think anyone can argue that we didn’t try to keep ourselves in the game.
“I think that we were a little naïve at times, but we are a young team. We have to push on now, we have 15 points to play for.”
It was tough going for both teams, playing on the hard, uneven yet grassed pitch, which was throwing players off their game and as things wore on, the long ball over the top was becoming more prevalent.
The best effort of the first half came in the 30th minute when Danny Naidole’s attempt on goal saw keeper Scott Webb having to dive to make the save.
A few minutes later Town attacked Long Eaton’s goal again, with a diagonal shot from James Sutcliffe, but again Webb cleared.
On 40 minutes, Town keeper, Imeson was tested for the first time with a free kick.
Just before half time, William Mellor-Blair swung the ball into the Town six-yard box, but Imeson palmed it out for the corner and it was scoreless at half-time.
The second half was only two minutes old when a lapse in the home defence between skipper Nick Jagger and Adam Wilson resulted in Mellor-Blair putting Long Eaton in the lead.
Town raised their tempo even more and the diminutive and skilful Leon Henry was booked for a dangerous tackle.
The hard working Danny Hull had a shot in the 59th minute, but it did not trouble Webb.
Sutcliffe was booked in the 67th for a dangerous tackle on Leigh Warman.
Anthony Haigh was replaced by Shane Hamilton and it then became the Naidole show as he could have had three successive goals in as minutes.
He conrolled well, flipped the ball up and let go in front of the goal but Webb took it.
His next attempt from 20 yards just cleared the crossbar and n his third was just deflected wide by Webb.
Sutcliffe then tried his luck with a superb header with only seven minutes remaining, but it just cleared the crossbar.
Town Sutcliffe lined up another free kick, but Webb again made a fine save.
With a few minutes left Jacob Lever came on for the hard working Sutcliffe, who had been playing in a more forward role that his normal fullback position to allow Ryan Brook back in the side.
Match day secretary Wally Hemingway announced to the 77 present four minutes of added time and a fired up Quinn was verbally encouraging from the dug-out.
All looked lost until Brown centred from 28 yards out on the right and Hamilton out jumped everyone to deliver a perfect bullet header.
P W D L F A Pts
Retford Utd 33 21 9 3 77 38 72
Bridlington 32 22 5 5 92 46 71
Scarborough 34 20 5 9 84 45 65
Winterton 34 20 5 9 64 40 65
Staveley MW 30 19 5 6 57 33 62
Parkgate 32 18 7 7 88 59 61
Brighouse 33 19 4 10 78 49 61
Thackley 34 17 7 10 65 51 58
Tadcaster 32 16 7 9 55 40 55
Arnold Town 31 13 9 9 58 52 48
Barton TOB 33 14 5 14 59 65 47
Armthorpe 32 13 5 14 62 57 44
Pickering 32 11 6 15 64 67 39
Liversedge 34 10 5 19 53 74 35
Nostell MW 35 8 8 19 58 82 32
Hall Road 33 9 4 20 47 74 28
Long Eaton 34 7 6 21 34 59 27
Lincoln MR 34 6 7 21 35 79 25
Maltby Main 34 4 8 22 32 79 20
Selby Town 34 3 3 28 25 98 12