BASINGSTOKE Town threw away a great chance to move away from the relegation zone, as they let a 3-1 lead slip away against visiting Tiverton Town, the final score being 3-3.

The home side made one change to their victorious Hampshire Senior Cup semi-final side with Chris Rackley taking over from the injured Tom McGill in goal.

It took until the seventh minute for the first real chance of the game as Basingstoke’s Sam Deadfield volleyed over.

Soon after, the home side had a great shout for a penalty as Sam Argent was tripped in the box by Ben Mammola, but nothing was given.

The Dragons who dominated possession in the opening part of the first-half got their reward with the first goal after 22 minutes.

Adam Everiss fed the ball to Sam Smart in space and from 35-yards out his strike flew into the top corner.

The visitors hit back and only a great block from Everiss denied Josh Key the chance to equalise.

Tiverton were then given a free-kick wide on the right of the penalty area, which saw Levi Landricombe’s effort hit the wall, but from this the ball was crossed in and Rackley clawed away a goal bound effort from Jamie Price.

The home side responded with a lovely move involving Yvan Jourdan, Harry Pearse and Argent, before Smart struck the ball into the chest of visiting goalkeeper Liam Armstrong.

Then in added on time at the end of the first half, Pearse with a lovely long-range effort doubled the advantage for the home side from 30 yards out.

It was no more than the home side deserved.

After the interval, the introduction of Tiverton’s Tom Bath helped the visitors back into the game.

Basingstoke came so close to a third goal, when Smart found Argent and his low effort went inches wide of the post.

Just after the hour mark, the home side made another great move, but then Tiverton broke away and Landricombe was able to find Stewart Yetton at the back post to score.

However, before the Devon side could even think of hitting an equaliser, a flick on from Argent saw Deadfield thump the ball into the net to make it 3-1 on 64 minutes.

Basingstoke could have added a fourth soon after, but Smart’s shot was beaten away by the legs of Armstrong.

Then disaster struck as Tiverton scored twice in the space of two nightmare minutes.

Once again from a good Basingstoke move, the visitors broke out and the ball bounced around the penalty area, before Mike Landricombe headed home.

If that was bad, worse was to follow as Mike Landricombe turned provider for Yetton to score an equaliser.

A stunned Camrose could not believe it and Tiverton now looked more likely to win the game.

However, the home side nearly got a winner two minutes from time, but the crossbar denied Argent.

Then right on time Tiverton sub Bath saw his cross-cum-shot hit the inside of the post and luckily for the home side, no one got on the rebound.

The draw left Basingstoke 16th in the table, just three points clear of Gosport, who occupy the final relegation place with four games remaining.

A very disappointed home manager Martin Kuhl said: “We told the players the way they would play after going 2-0 down. They went man for man and we needed players to get into battles with them.

“Instead we ended up carrying a few, which is the reason they managed to get a point. No disrespect to them that is the way they play and they are good at it.”

Kuhl added: “We still have to learn game management and make sure we win games from good positions.”

Next for Town is a very tough away game at Poole Town, who are very much in the battle with King’s Langley for the final play-off spot.