A final few minutes of madness cost Boston United three points at Ashton United.
Ryan Qualter’s wonder goal looked to have earned the Pilgrims three points at Hurst Cross, his 35-yarder finding the net via the post.
But Brad Abbott’s red card and Liam Tomsett’s low finish turned the game on its head as Craig Elliott’s side played out their first draw of the season.
The Boston substitute was dismissed for comments made to referee David McNamara in the 86th minute, before Tomsett slotted home the leveller two minutes later.
While Qualter’s finish was a thing of beauty, the Pilgrims had to dig deep at times.
Jordan Slew, Max Wright and Nicky Walker spent as much time tracking back and challenging for the ball as did pushing forward, while body blocks repelled effort after hopeful effort from the Robins.
Elliott made three changes to the side which was beaten by Brackley in midweek, Slew, Wright and David Norris replacing Gregg Smith, Josh Hine and Brad Abbott.
Qualter’s strike proved the difference at the break, but it was the Robins who began and ended the first half the stronger, even if United’s defence restricted the hosts to few clear-cut chances.
Matthew Regan’s volley into the side netting and Matthew Chadwick’s angled drive over the bar the best opportunities.
For United, David Norris came close to his first United goal in more than 15 years with a long-ranger which whizzed wide of the post.
Boston turned the screw after the interval, Andi Thanoj and James Jones both making Robins keeper Luke Pilling work.
Ashton, meanwhile, claimed they should have had a penalty after Ashley Jackson upended Chadwick right on the edge of the box.
Chadwick’s running was causing the away side problems and he forced an effort over the bar while substitute Liam Martin flashed a header wide.
Slew had chances for Boston, firing an effort down the throat of Pilling before seeing another effort hacked off the line by Luke Ashworth, following good work from Gavin Allott.
As thew hosts threw caution to the wind, Malkowski was down well to parry Josh Askew’s drive before the well-placed Jackson cleaned up.
Malkowski made another important save to deny Regan before Abbott’s red and Tomsett’s goal soured the day for Boston.
ASHTON: Pilling, Lees, Hill (Martin 64), Chalmers (Ashworth 31), Baines, Kay (Tomsett 70), Jackson, Regan, Chadwick, Sheridan, Askew; Subs (not used): Anghel, Holgate.
UNITED: Malkowski, Davies, Jackson, Thanoj, Jones, Qualter, Walker (Harris 64), Norris (Abbott 73), Allott, Slew (Parkhouse 79), Wright; Subs: Hine, Smith.
REF: David McNamara.
GOALS: ASHTON - Liam Tomsett (88); UNITED - Ryan Qualter (12).
BOOKINGS: ASHTON - Luke Ashworth (60); UNITED - Andi Thanoj (45), James Jones (52).
RED CARDS: UNITED - Brad Abbott (86).