A hat-trick from Dan Cornwell was not enough to stop Haverhill Rovers twice surrendering a two-goal advantage in their 4-4 Thurlow Nunn Premier League draw with Thetford.
Rovers raced into an early lead after Cornwell held up a long ball, turned and then fired powerfully past Ian Fancett in the Thetford goal with just five minutes gone on the clock.
Three minutes later a long, raking ball from skipper Paul Abbott saw Cornwell square the ball for Callum Harrison to double the host’s advantage.
Thetford pulled a goal back after 13 minutes when Tony Dew collected the ball in the Rovers penalty area and fired past Elliot Anderson, and the game was level on 20 minutes as John Curtis stole in at the far post after a cross was missed by the Haverhill back four.
Chances continued to be created at both ends, with Harrison scooping the ball over the bar following a Jack Higgs corner, and Luke Catchpole forcing a fine save from Anderson. And it was no surprise to see Rovers retake the lead after 37 minutes.
Sam Holmes won a header at a corner and then forced the ball out to the wing for Harrison to fire in a powerful cross that Cornwell converted.
With four minutes gone in the second half a powerful shot from Stuart Kingham struck Catchpole at the centre of the Thetford defence and the referee rather controversially awarded a penalty which Cornwell fired home to give Rovers back their two goal cushion.
But Thetford refused to be denied and Catchpole made amends with a speculative 30 yard shot on 76 minutes which flew past Anderson into the top right corner of the goal.
With a minute left on the clock a break away down the Thetford left saw Curtis beat a diving Anderson and roll the ball towards the Rovers goal. Greg Strong attempted to clear the danger but the ball appeared stuck in his feet long enough for Kieran Leech to nip in and equalise.
There was still time remaining for substitute Jake Twinn to be sent off for Rovers after disputing a decision with the referee as the game finally ended 4-4.
Rovers: Anderson, Hardwick, Strong, Abbott P, Kingham, Holmes, Abbott M, Forshaw (Sub Twinn 70 mins), Cornwell, Higgs, Harrison. Unused subs: Clark, Saville.
Echo man of the match: Dan Cornwell