Substitute Adam Mills’ last minute header denied Burgess Hill a third straight win and salvaged a precious point for Needham Market to take back to Suffolk.
The Hillians could have moved into third had they managed to secure the win, on a day when the majority of the Ryman Premier highflyers were in FA Cup action.
The result maintained Hill’s good run of form, with seven points from their last three games moving them to seventh; but they will be disappointed not to have won the game against a team languishing in the relegation zone.
Michael Brothers gave Market the lead midway through the first-half with a sweetly struck effort from the edge of the area that nestled into the top corner after Josh James had half-cleared a corner.
It took four minutes for the hosts to equalise, and they did so via the head of Joe Keehan who notched his second goal of the campaign, with his other coming against Market on the opening day of the season.
The midfielder rose highest to head home Callum Saunders corner in the 28th minute, and for the remainder of the first-half Burgess Hill began to assert their dominance.
Hill continued to press after the interval and Scott Kirkwood went close early on with a shot on the angle that flashed wide of Daniel Gay’s far post.
The home defence were caught napping in the 56th minute though, and it nearly cost them but for Brothers failure to convert from point-blank range as he headed narrowly over.
Soon after Dan Perry replaced Callum Saunders, and the diminutive striker’s tireless running and speed added a new weapon to Burgess Hill armoury for the last half an hour.
Perry was in the thick of the action immediately and his presence caused a mix-up between Gay and the Market defence that almost gifted the Hillians another goal, however, the ball was eventually cleared away.
Perry was to make no mistake with his next opportunity and crept in at the back post in the 79th minute to smash home after Sam Fisk’s long throw found its way to the Hill sub.
It was a Market sub that was the hero in the end though, and from a carbon copy situation of a long throw, Mills was on hand to head in a leveller in the 90th minute.
There was nearly another twist in the tale as Lee Harding’s ball across the face of goal in injury time looked destined to be tucked away by Perry, but it wasn’t to be as the forward couldn’t quite get on the end of the searching cross.
In the end the points were shared, and although Hill boss Ian Chapman was gutted not to have seen the game out for a win, speaking after the game he put the result into perspective when considering recent results: “I’m absolutely delighted with the seven points from the three games, but a bit disappointed we haven’t held on for the three points.”
The Hillians continue their Ryman Premier journey on Tuesday when they travel to Wheatsheaf Park to take on Staines Town.
MOM: Sam Fisk – A typically flawless performance from the left-back, with his long-throw playing a crucial role in Burgess Hill’s second goal.
HILLIANS: James, Pointing, Fisk, Budd, Pearson, Miles, Kirkwood, Keehan, P.Harding, Saunders (Perry 57), L.Harding.
UNUSED SUBS: Smith, Johnson, Bolton, Wiltshire.
NEEDHAM MARKET: Gay, Brown, Coakley, Morphew (Duguid 69), Crisell, Whight, Ingram (Mills 76), Davies, Newson, Brothers, Patrick (Pelling 81).
UNUSED SUBS: Smith, Munson
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