Airbus UK Broughton enhanced a growing reputation as the comeback kings of the Welsh Premier with another late show to earn a point against well-fancied Neath. The big-spenders from South Wales arrived at the Airfield fielding the likes of Lee Trundle and Kristian O'Leary but by the end of the game would have been relieved to leave Broughton with a draw.
Nothing in the opening stages of the play suggested that there was a dramatic finale ahead with only the visitors Andrew Hill having an attempt on goal. Nick Rushton looked lively for the Wingmakers and on 20 minutes Neath goalkeeper Ashley Morris was booked for handling outside his area. Two minutes later Danny Desormeaux broke into the area committing Morris and crossing for Phil Clarke. Unfortunately Clarke couldn't apply the finish as the ball became trapped under his feet.
On 25 minutes Airbus goalkeeper Callum Hawthorne was booked for exactly the same offence as his Neath counterpart before on the half-hour mark Leon Clowes went close. The Wingmakers were beginning to look the better team and nearly took the advantage when Rushton raced into the area - his cross nearly being turned in for an own goal.
Danny Desoreaux received a yellow card for a foul on 41 minutes but as the break approached the home side could be happy with their work. Leon Clowes, Mark Allen and Gio Feliciello had done well to nullify the threat of Trundle between them but just on the stroke of half-time the Wingmakers suffered a setback. Chad Bond put in a pin-point cross for Hill to head home from close-range - giving the away side a 1-0 lead at the interval.
The second-half began a little sluggishly and on 54 minutes the result of the game looked to have been put beyond doubt. Lee Trundle dribbled his way towards the area and passed for Chad Bond to poke home inside the 6-yard box - making it 2-0. A few minutes later Phil Clarke was given a booking for a foul on Trundle. Around the hour mark Wingmakers boss Craig Harrison made his first changes with Ashley Williams and Simon Smith being replaced with Matty Cook and Paul McManus.
With around 20 minutes to go Airbus were handed a lifeline when Paul McManus was needlessly hauled down in the area. A penalty was awarded and Andy Moran stepped up to hit it low to Morris's left - sending the him the wrong way and pulling the score back to 2-1. The Wingmakers suddenly enjoyed a new lease of life and Nick Rushton prodded narrowly wide after a great move orchestrated by Desormeaux.
The momentum was with Airbus heading into the last quarter of an hour and Neath struggled to cope. They were rocked when on 76 minutes Gio Feliciello struck a corner to the near post for Matty Cook to direct a header home - equalising at 2-2. The visitors immediately replaced Andrew Hill with Craig Hughes while Andy Moran was booked for a foul follwoing the re-start.
Desormeaux went close for the Wingmakers after another sweeping move as Neath introduced Luke Cummings in place of Chad Bond. Meanwhile Richard Dorman replaced Nick Rushton for Airbus. Into the latter stages Paul McManus beat the offside trap to put in a cross which nearly resulted in a Neath own goal only for it to see the ball cleared off the line. The ball played back into the area nearly reached McManus too as it sped across the face of goal. Minutes later Dorman was also put through but was closed down on the edge of the area.
Neath were hanging on in the last few minutes as Desormeaux and Cook's prompting plus the pace of McManus caused them a number of problems. Dorman was unlucky with another late effort which just missed the target while Hawthorne had to be alert to stop a shot at the other end a minute later. Andrew Dyer made his final change for Neath with a minute to go when Ian Hillier came on in place of Paul Cochlin.
There was to be one last scare for the Wingmakers when - into time added on - Lee Trundle went on a mesmerising run into the area only to see his shot take a deflection and cannon back out off the crossbar. That was the final action of the game before the referee blew for full-time.
Neath will be kicking themselves for letting a 2-0 lead slip while the Wingmakers will feel that despite a brilliant comeback - they could have taken more than a point from the game. If they had it would have been no less than their excellent late pressure deserved.
Airbus - 1: Callum Hawthorne 2: Ryan Edwards 3: Gio Feliciello 4: Leon Clowes 5: Mark Allen 6: Ashley Williams (Cook) 7: Phil Clarke 8: Danny Desormeaux 9: Andy Moran 10: Nick Rushton (Dorman) 11: Simon Smith (McManus)
Subs - 12: Matthew Cook 14: Paul McManus 15: Richie Dorman 16: Asa Hamilton 17: Jay Meacock
Neath - 1: Craig Morris 2: Ashley Evans 3: Paul Cochlin (Hillier) 4: Kristian O'Leary 5: Liam Hancock 6: Stephen Pockett 7: Chris Jones 8: Paul Fowler 9: Andrew Hill (C. Hughes) 10: Lee Trundle 11: Chad Bond (Cummings)
Subs - 12: Ian Hillier 14: Andrew Fairbairn 15: Craig Hughes 16: Luke Cummings 17 Luke Morgan
By Rory Sheehan