ROB WIMBLE’S free kick three minutes from time denied Littlehampton Football Club all three points against local rivals Pagham on Saturday.
The Golds opened up a two-goal lead inside 13 minutes, before taking a 3-1 advantage into the interval in the County League Division 1 contest.
However, Dan Martin and Wimble struck in the closing stages to snatch a draw for the Lions.
The draw means Littlehampton remain second and Golds now trail leaders Dorking Wanderers by two points, with two games in hand, after Dorking slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Shoreham.
Pagham closed the gap on Littlehampton to two points on Tuesday, with a 3-0 win at Crawley Down, although they have played two games more.
Despite conceding two late goals, Littlehampton boss Mark Bennett felt it was a point gained and said: “We came to Pagham knowing that it would be a difficult test.
“Ideally, being 3-1 up at the break, you’d expect to go on and win but that was not the case. I’m not that disappointed as we managed to come away with a draw and we kept a five point gap between us and them with a game in hand.
“George Landais had a great chance to get a fourth for us and that would have ended the contest, that wasn’t to be and I’ll take the point.”
Landais bagged his 31st goal of the campaign on 11 minutes when he latched on to Joe Shelley’s cross and, despite, seeing his first shot saved by James Binfield, he netted with his second attempt.
It was 2-0 just two minutes later when George Gaskin’s shot was blocked into Kieron Pamment’s path and his left-foot drive deflected in off Tom Broadbent’s boot.
Pagham got themselves back into the game on 21 minutes when Ruben French fired a free kick into the top corner.
Dan Swain restored Golds’ two-goal advantage six minutes later, though, with a fine 20-yard free kick.
Littlehampton should have ensured all three points nine minutes after the break when Gary Peters’ through ball sent Landais racing through but Binfield pulled off a fine stop to tip the ball round the post.
Martin then pulled a goal back for the home side with 14 minutes remaining with a smart turn and finish from the edge of the area.
The Lions drew level just three minutes from time when Wimble’s free kick evaded everyone in the area and found the bottom corner.
Golds host Chichester on Saturday.
LITTLEHAMPTON: Morrish; Peters, Bates, Zydonik, Hand; Pamment, Shelley, Swain, Boswell; Gaskin, Landais. Subs: Clack (Gaskin), Garnham (Landais), Herbert, Packer, Humphreys.