Heanor Town maintained their unbeaten league run with a 3-3 draw at Gedling Miners Welfare on Saturday – but that was after they’d led 3-0 at half-time.
The Lions are two points behind leaders Eastwood with five games in hand, but they would have led the standings going into the new year had they been able to make the most of their comfortable position at the break.
Tristan Matthews saw an early effort tipped wide for Heanor but the visitors would go in front eight minutes later.
When awarded a penalty, Jamie Sleigh stepped up only to see his spot kick parried into the air by keeper Sharpe, but the ball dropped for Sleigh to net the rebound from a yard out.
The lead was extended five minutes later when Jordan Ball produced a stunning strike from 30 yards into the top corner of the net.
And three minutes before half-time the Lions were three goals ahead when Matthews threaded a ball through to Kyle Daley who finished well.
On the hour mark, Gedling got one back with Kieran Harrison’s free-kick from 25 yards taking a deflection on its way into the net.
With 15 minutes to go, Harrison then struck again with a fine strike from 20 yards to reduce the arrears further.
Gedling then secured what had looked an unlikely comeback when debutant Paolo Piliero was on hand to net the equaliser with five minutes to go.
Heanor returned to action with a trip to Hucknall Town on New Year’s Day, after the Ripley and Heanor News had gone to press.