MELVILLE City’s playoff hopes took a blow after an action-packed 2-2 draw to Quinns FC at Gumblossom Park.
Despite trailing 2-0 midway through the second half, strikes from Dean Thurston and Ross Betty salvaged a point for the visitors.
The result left Melville six points behind fourth-placed Kelmscott Roos with just two games left.
As just three points separated the two sides prior to kick off, the game promised to be a close affair and the opening half hour was true to form, as Craig Tooley and Grant Mowatt both flashed shots wide for either side.
Quinns opened the scoring when an errant ball gifted possession to Tooley and he teed up captain Gareth Hamilton, who cut in and beat Daniel Agudelo with a stinging strike.
Christian Long came close to equalising just before the break, but he just could not connect with Thurston’s low cross.
The second half initially proved to again be a tight affair, however the visitors were incensed when a Quinns player appeared to handle the ball inside the box, only for the referee to wave away their protests.
Minutes later, the hosts extended their advantage when a beautiful flick from Hamilton sent Tooley through on goal and the striker made no mistake.
But Melville immediately dragged itself back into the match when Long drew a foul from Jonny McKeown inside the box and Thurston converted the spot kick.
Long again came close to scoring when he met Thurston’s cutback, only for Josh Reid to make a crucial block on the goal line.
However, a moment of brilliance from substitute Betty pulled City back on level terms when his dipping, long-range strike found the net and left the keeper grasping at air.
Both sides had late chances to win it, as John McNeil somehow missed from inside six yards and Reid’s header was superbly saved by Agudelo, while Simon El Chami flicked a header over at the opposite end.