ARUNDEL Football Club slipped into the bottom three of County League Division 1 on Saturday, despite keeper James Fernandes preserving a point for his side with an injury-time penalty save.
Ringmer and Worthing United both won to move one and two points clear of Mullets respectively, but Shoreham remain a point ahead, having played two games more.
With five teams scrapping to avoid the remaining one relegation spot, Arundel assistant manager Craig Stuart said: “It’s our own fault we’re in the position we are, so now we have to get out of it.
“We’ve got Ringmer and Chichester away over Easter. The Ringmer game on Saturday is huge but Chi are gone now so, hopefully, they won’t be up for it.
“Shoreham losing was huge for us and we’ve got games in hand over them, so it’s between us two and YMCA for that 17th spot now, as Ringmer and Worthing United will both be fine, in my opinion.
“We don’t know about the ground grading yet though, but we can’t rely on that to save us as that’s a cheap way out, but it’s one of the tightest leagues ever at both ends.”
Mullets’ Matt Windsor hit the bar with a header early on and Scott Tipper had an effort blocked, after Norgate stayed on his feet when he might have won a penalty had he gone to ground.
Rory Biggs also went close for Mullets, before Lingfield went ahead on 63 minutes through debutant Carlton Murray-Price.
Lingfield then pushed to double their lead and Harry Sintim hit a post and Dean Hamlin saw an effort cleared off the line, before Arundel equalised 10 minutes from time.
Debutant substitute, Ben Harwood, signed from East Preston, swung in a free-kick which was met at the back post by Gary Norgate for his 14th goal of the season.
The drama did not end there, though, and Mullets were grateful for their point when Fernandes denied Josh Coulson a winner from the penalty spot in injury-time after he had been fouled.
Stuart said: “On the balance of play, a draw was right but it’s frustrating as we need to learn to cut out the mistakes as we’re not going to win games defending like that.”
ARUNDEL: Fernandes; Hall, Windsor, Hunter; D.Walker, J.Biggs, Grove, R.Biggs, L.Walker; Norgate, Tipper. Subs: Harwood, Jenkins (Hunter, Hall 67), Peake, Williamson, Dudas.