A last-minute free kick from returning winger Matty Kosylo rescued FC Halifax Town a 2-2 draw against Gateshead at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Kosylo’s stunning free-kick in the 96th minute saw Halifax back level after the second of Jordan Burrow’s two goals at the start of added time.
Former Town man Burrow had put the visitors ahead before Mike Fondop-Talom equalised midway through the second period.
A point for Halifax means they’re now undefeated in their last six on home soil and move up to the top half of the table into 12th.
Gateshead had the better of the few early chances with a familiar face almost breaking the deadlock. Midfielder Richard Peniket, who made over 100 appearances for the Shaymen, found room in the area to poke a shot past Sam Johnson only for Josh Wilde to clear off the line.
Less than a minute later, Peniket had another sight at goal as his shot from just inside the penalty area forced a routine stop by former Gateshead loanee Johnson.
The visitors saw more of the possession in the opening quarter but could only produce half-chances with Scott Barrow lashing a shot wide from a half-volley at the back post before Wes York’s floated shot to the far corner was easily caught by Johnson.
With eight minutes of the first-half remaining, Gateshead eventually broke though as Barrow’s crossed free-kick from the right flank was scrambled home by ex-Town forward Burrow, much to the dismay of the home fans who felt he’d kicked the ball from Johnson’s hands.
The Heed would hold onto their goal lead until the break.
After a fairly drab first-half, Halifax made the best possible start to the second as after just three minutes of action Ben Tomlinson’s cross from the right was powerfully headed home by Fondop-Talom into the bottom right corner as the striker scored in successive matches.
With the winds beneath their sails, Michael Collins went for goal from the edge of the area and forced a tremendous save from James Montgomery in the Gateshead goal who pushed it wide the far corner.
Jake Hibbs and Connor Thomson were the next to try their luck from range although Hibbs saw his effort fly high and wide of the far corner before Thomson came closer with a hard-drilled strike which Montgomery did well to hold.
Gateshead provided a rare attacking threat against the run of play when defender Fraser Kerr headed a corner inches wide of the post from a corner before Danny Johnson’s counter resulted in a shot which Johnson denied with his legs.
The Shay crowd were on their feet to provide rapturous receptions for both Kosylo, who came on following his injury spell, and former Shayman Peniket on his return to West Yorkshire.
As the match reached its final dozen minutes, Town were gifted with two fine chances as Fondop-Talom flick on found Thomson in acres of space only for the midfielder to fire wide from close range as he looked to bend the effort into the top corner.
Minutes later, Fondop-Talom was again the provider as he set up Ben Tomlinson, whose strike was saved by the chest of Montgomery as the keeper rushed off his line to make the point-blank stop.
The Shaymen were made to pay for their inefficiency in front of goal with as Gateshead regained the lead late on.
In the first of six added minutes of injury time, Burrow was once again in the right position to bury a goal-mouth scramble after substitute Kieran Green pulled the ball back for the striker to grab his second of the evening and put the Heed back ahead.
It was a fairy-tale ending for Halifax though as Kosylo, returning from an injury off the bench, curled a free-kick around the wall and into the bottom left hand corner to put Town back level again in the very last minute and secure a point.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 3 Josh Wilde (32 Raheem Hanley 78), 39 Michael Duckworth, 21 Sam Graham, 22 Michael Collins ©, 8 Nathan Hotte, 20 Jake Hibbs (7 Matty Kosylo 74), 14 Ben Tomlinson, 23 Connor Thomson, 33 Mike Fondop-Talom, 31 Niall Maher
Subs: 13 Tom Nicholson, 11 Scott McManus 10 Connor Oliver
Gateshead: 1 James Montgomery, 3 Scott Barrow, 4 Fraser Kerr, 5 Neill Byrne ©,(2 Theo Vassell 60) 6 Jamal Fyfield, 7 Wes York (11 Jordan Preston 68) , 8 Richard Peniket (17 Kieran Green 75), 9 Danny Johnson, 10 Jordan Burrow, 13 Paddy McLaughlin, 16 Russell Penn
Subs: 21 Dan Hanford, 27 Rees Greenwood,
Goals: Jordan Burrow (37, 90 + 2) Mike Fondop-Talom (48), Matty Kosylo 90+7
Yellow Cards: Michael Collins (39), Raheem Hanley81, Mike Fondop Talom 90-+4, Russell Penn 90+8
Red Cards: None
FC Halifax Town 2 Gateshead 2
Read more posts by FC Halifax Town