A goal two minutes into added time denied Cambridge three points in their Northern League clash with third-placed Albany United.
The Reds had led 1-0 for half an hour when Albany found their late equaliser at John Kerkhof Park.
It was a cruel twist for a Cambridge side that had worked so hard for competition points needed to lift them away from the Lotto NRFL’s second division relegation zone.
The sides cancelled each other in a scrappy first half but Cambridge striker Dylan Blair found the net on the hour, raising hopes for home supporters.
The Reds’ defence then kept the Aucklanders at bay with goalkeeper Patrick Steele playing outstandingly, making several key saves, and young centre back Jack Portegys playing with authority and confidence.
Cambridge even got the chance to provide a deserved Northern League debut for substitute 40-something striker Jason Szabo, a hero of sides that won WaiBOP Premiership titles in 2015 and 2017 and helped get the Reds back into the NRFL competition.
But football is a 90-minute game and a Cambridge lapse in the dying moments gave Albany the chance they had worked for as John Curwen scored from a corner into a packed penalty area.
The match ended 1-1, the sixth draw recorded by the Reds this season.
The result leaves Cambridge fifth from the foot of the division but only two points clear of the relegation zone.
The following images were captured by our club’s official photographer Louis Roberts:
Lotto NRFL second division results
Takapuna AFC confirmed their promotion to next year’s Lotto NRFL division one with a win against Onehunga Mangere United. This weekend’s results:
Metro FC 0-1 Te Atatu AFC (HT: 0-0)
MET: None; TEA: Rhys Caples 88′
Takapuna 3-0 Onehunga Mangere United (HT: 2-0)
TAK: Tommy Miller 38′ 45′, Jack Taylor 57′
Claudelands Rovers 3-1 Northland FC (HT: 2-0)
CLA: Jacob Robb 24′, Jack Bayliss 42′, Jackson Houlihan 50′; NOR: Jonathan Fletcher 56′
Ngongotaha 1-0 Papakura City FC (HT: 0-0)
NGO: Harlem Simona 85′
Franklin United 1-2 Bucklands Beach AFC (HT: 0-2)
FRA: Salesh Kumar 62′; BUC: Ben Culpan 45′ 45+1′
Cambridge 1-1 Albany United FC (HT: 0-0)
CAM: Dylan Blair 60′; ALB: John Curwen 90+2′
Cambridge’s reserves were awarded a default 3-0 win when Albany United were unable to field a team for their fixture.