HAYLING UNITED fired a warning shot to their fellow strugglers in the Wessex League premier division as they netted a late goal to peg back Fareham Town in a 1-1 derby draw at Cams Alders.
Former Humbugs striker Rob Tambling put Fareham ahead before a late penalty from Daryl Carter ensured Hayling left with a point.
The Reds had enough chances to have sewn the game up but didn’t take them.
And the Humbugs always looked capable of snatching something from a contest in which both teams had a man sent off.
Hayling manager Steve Poulton said: ‘I credit the lads for a job well done.
‘They never once accepted that they would return home without something to show for an afternoon of graft.
‘The lads are scrapping for every point and provided they continue to adopt this attitude, we shall gradually climb the table to safety.’
It could have been even better for Hayling.
Only some outstanding late work from Fareham keeper Luke Douglas denied them all three points.
At the other end, Humbugs keeper Lloyd Patilla was in equally formidable form throughout the contest.
He saved at full-stretch from Jimmy Cuthbert, before keeping out a Tambling header.
Tambling earlier put Fareham into the lead, midway through the first half, meeting a Wayne Boud corner.
The referee’s assistant decided that the ball had crossed the line before being cleared.
Hayling then lost defender Sean Thurgood, who was red-carded for an act of retaliation in the centre circle.
Fareham’s Dave Birmingham quickly followed, after trampling on Hayling attacker Lee Tigwell under the nose of referee Steve Wade, who had no other option than to flash the red card.
When the game eventually settled down, Boud went close to doubling Fareham’s advantage but shot over.
And Hayling netted their equaliser when Tigwell was felled in the box.
Up stepped substitute Carter to earn his side a point with a well-struck penalty.
‘That’s what you get by wasting so many chances,’ said Fareham boss Matt Parr.
‘Our finishing again let us down and we got punished.’
‘For me, it was a match we should have won by three or four.
‘But Hayling made the most of it by hitting us with a late equaliser, which was always likely given our lack of finishing.’
Ten-man Moneyfields beat Hamworthy United 4-0 at Dover Road to make it seven wins on the bounce.
The Copnor club had youngster George Davis sent off after 20 minutes.
But a hat-trick from Steve Hutchings and a Jack Lee goal saw them to victory.
‘My players were brilliant because to win by that margin, playing a man short for so long, takes some doing,’ said Moneys boss Miles Rutherford.
Horndean were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Laverstock & Ford at Five Heads Park.
Alex Miroy gave them the lead with a 20th-minute penalty before the visitors levelled with a 70th-minute free kick.
Though Laverstock went down to 10-men, Horndean couldn’t find a winner.