GAINSBOROUGH Trinity ended the 100 per cent home record of league leaders Brackley Town on Saturday, as Paul Connor bagged a brace in a 2-2 draw.
Trinity’s top scorer gave the visitors the perfect start in Saturday’s Blue Square Bet North clash, before Saints established a 2-1 interval advantage.
But Connor grabbed the deserved second half equaliser and both teams could have won it late on.
Saints started the day in second place following Chester’s draw with Bradford Park Avenue in midweek, while Gainsborough had won three of their last four league games.
Connor gave Trinity a fifth minute lead with his fourth goal of the campaign when he raced onto a neat pass from Liam Henderson with the Saints defence caught square and slipped the ball past Billy Turley.
The Blues striker should have doubled his tally five minutes later when he broke clear again but this time he was thwarted by Turley and when ball ran free, Henderson’s follow-up was blocked before Connor fired over with the keeper stranded.
Henderson and Connor proved a handful for the Saints back four in which Ryan Austin was making his debut after being signed on-loan from Kidderminster Harriers.
Saints gradually got back into the contest and equalised in the 17th minute when Owen Story’s near post cross was headed into the far corner by Glenn Walker.
The duo combined again five minutes later to put Saints ahead.
Walker turned provider when his defence-splitting pass was clinically finished off by Story after he raced clear.
Trinity stepped up a gear after the restart and Craig Nelthorpe drove the visitors on from midfield as they looked to get back on level terms.
Steve Housham’s men went close to an equaliser when Dominic Roma headed against the bar nine minutes into the second half from Nelthorpe’s deep cross.
But Trinity got their reward in the 70th minute when Connor grabbed his second goal, turning home a low cross from Nelthorpe from 15 yards.
Sensing all three points, Trinity went close when Jonathan D’Laryea flashed a shot wide and substitute Jamie Yates fired over from a good position.
In between, Walker had a shot blocked after breaking clear as Saints finally showed some urgency. But they failed to seriously test Jan Butdz in the second half.
Trinity substitute Bradley Barraclough, who looked a real threat, almost won it in the 80th minute when his downward header bounced up and hit the bar from another excellent Nelthorpe cross.
Saints boss Jon Brady threw on Steve Diggin and Gary Mulligan to give Saints more options in attack and the change almost brought instant dividends in the 85th minute when Diggin hit the upright from Eddie Nisevic’s far post cross.
But it was Trinity who looked the more likely to win it with Barraclough causing problems with his direct approach.
Saints had to see out stoppage-time a player short after Michael Corcoran picked up two cautions in quick succession but the point was enough for them to regain top spot, and Trinity sit ninth in the table.