ANOTHER draw, and more points pilfered from Witton Albion’s pocket.

It’s happened twice this week.

On this occasion Nathan Watson, probably the Northern Premier League’s best striker, took his turn to score a last-minute equaliser for Basford United.

Until then, his threat had been fleeting.

The attacker’s volley, directed out of goalkeeper Greg Hall’s reach after he anticipated a teammate’s flick-on, took the shine of an encouraging performance by Carl Macauley’s men.

It came at the end of a decisive 60 seconds after Saul Deeney, the visitors’ number one, had reacted instinctively to parry debutant Lewis Doyle’s stinging shot.

That’s why, on the brink of leading 3-1, Watson’s strike came as a slap in the face for the home team.

They looked likely to leave Basford trailing in their wake after establishing a two-goal lead inside 20 minutes.

Rob Hopley put Witton in front, firing into the corner after Anthony Gardner’s long throw fell kindly.

And the captain played a part in Albion’s second goal, nudging the ball into Will Jones’ path before his fellow front-runner redirected it into the far corner with a sweetly-struck volley.

Basford reacted furiously, Liam Bateman and James Reid both receiving cautions for dissent after claiming the goal-scorer had fouled his marker to create a space he could shoot from.

Reid channelled his anger more constructively when his free-kick, deflected slightly by a defensive wall, prompted Hall to improvise and save with a boot.

It was a spur for Basford, and they halved a deficit on the scoreboard when Reid dispatched a spot-kick after Hopley handled inside his own penalty area.

James Foley’s strike from distance flashed over before Watson was thwarted by Hall after dropping a shoulder to move away from the last defender.

The away side were more incisive after the interval and Hall was swift from his line to prevent Watson from lifting the ball over him.

Basford’s danger-man was wasteful from a free-kick in a promising position, failing even to hit the target, before River Humphreys threw himself in the path of his next attempt.

Witton rallied and, driven forward by an impressive Billy Smart at the base of their midfield, applied pressure of their own in response.

Gardner nodded a cross towards Jones and his shot into the floor looped over.

When Tom Owens tried to slalom into a position from which he could shoot, Stefan Galinski tackled him in the nick of time.

Doyle’s drive with time running out was powerful, but Deeney pushed it away.

Watson then scored a goal he had been threatening to ensure history repeated for Witton after they were denied maximum points by Stafford in near-identical circumstances on Tuesday.

Witton | 4-4-2 | Hall (GK), Gardner, Humphreys, Wardle, McKenna, Owens, Smart, Doyle, Foley, Hopley, Jones Subs not used Wynne, Egan, Abadaki, Neild (GK) Goals Hopley 9, Jones 18 Booked Smart (foul)

Basford | 3-5-2 | Deeney (GK), Gascoigne, Roma (Hearn 69), Galinski, Bateman, Thomas, Nash (Bell-Toxtle 88), Reid (Goodson 81), Wilson, Grantham, Watson Subs not used Carr, Stokes Goals Reid 34 (penalty), Watson 90 Booked Bateman, Reid (both dissent), Thomas (foul)

Referee Liam Corrigan

Attendance 316