ASHBOURNE FC travelled to Market Drayton for their first encounter with prison outfit Hall Heath in what was technically a home game.
Manager Paul Dabbs was missing several regulars and was dealt a blow in the pre-match warm up when Charles Mann pulled up with a hip injury.
However, Ashbourne carved out the first opportunity when Archer headed over from Rich Wright’s left-wing cross.
Hall Heath took the lead after 10 minutes when Evans unleashed an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box, and Ashbourne were struggling to make an impression in the game and lacked composure on the ball.
They managed to bring the scores level though when Paul Etherington sent Paul Spencer clear to calmly finish past the goalkeeper.
This did not change the effort and application of Hall Heath, who continued to ask questions of the Ashbourne defence and managed to add two further goals from Evans and Vassell.
Things were looking grim and although Spencer forced a fine save from the home keeper just before half-time, there could be no dispute that the hosts were worth their 3-1 lead.
The second half saw Ashbourne tackle the game with more purpose and start to force themselves back into the contest.
After good work by Sam Archer and a pinpoint cross, Steve Williams was on hand to head home from close distance to bring Ashbourne back into the game.
This was the fillip required and the visitors started to put some good football together played at high tempo.
Several chances were created and the home keeper was called upon on several occasions to preserve Hall Heath’s lead.
However, he was powerless to stop Rob Austin’s powerful shot which brought the scores to 3-3.
Ashbourne were now pushing for the winning goal but against the run of play Hall Heath went ahead through Vassell, who ran clear of the Ashbourne defence before finishing in some style.
With around five minutes of normal time remaining, the visitors pressed forward and Dave Barrie was denied by a class save from the home keeper, and shortly afterwards, Williams fired just wide.
With the clock ticking down and the referee signalling there would be two minutes of added time, Ashbourne earned a corner and from the resulting kick, Bacon headed goalwards and in the melee that followed, Dave Barrie was on hand to drill the ball into the Hall Heath net and snatch a dramatic equaliser.
This Saturday, Ashbourne begin their Leek Cup campaign against high-flying Staffordshire Senior League Premier Division side Uttoxeter Town at the Recreation Ground, kick-off 2pm.
Ashbourne: Bacon, Wright, Austin, Gibson, Lomas, Etherington, Startin, Archer, Twigge, Williams, Spencer; subs: Barrie, Wood, Dabbs.
ASHBOURNE Ladies made it four games undefeated by again disposing of an opposition that came to the Polo Ground on the back of a victory the previous week.
Just as with last week, the hosts took a 2-0 lead, thanks to an opening goal from new signing Alice Clarkson, the second goal coming from the prolific Lisa Shenton who, from midfield, has now bagged five in four games.
Woodlands kept playing passing football and squeezed back into the game with a well-worked goal.
Ashbourne now had to dig deep and, as in previous weeks, defend well.
This they did and Ashbourne were rewarded with a free kick which Shenton swung in for Bell Lee to convert.