*Conference South Football League BLUE SQUARE SOUTH Havant & Waterlooville 2 Hayes & Yeading United 2
A vulnerability to corners ultimately cost Hayes & Yeading United two points as their play-off campaign continued to stutter at Westleigh Park.
United led twice but each time they were pegged back, the second and decisive time just two minutes from the final whistle.
It left the visitors with their fourth draw from six games, three of those against bottom six opposition and that kind of form will not take them back into the top five.
United started slowly, conceding several free kicks which they managed to survive only to lose Scott Fitzgerald in the 19th minute, again with a shoulder problem.
Chances then started to come as substitute Staforde Palmer's fizzing effort was touched over by Nathan Ashmore, who was soon relieved to see debutant United Dale Binns find only the side netting.
The visitors finished the half with another good move, Ram Marwa and Palmer giving Josh Scott, restored to his best position up front, the chance to break into the area and step inside Gary Elphick, but Ashmore produced another fine save to keep out his curling effort.
In between Delroy Preddie, preferred to Aaron Howe who did not even make the bench after his midweek error, spilled a hanging cross but got away with it.
He was in the right place to field a free header from Steven Cook and after Tom Cadmore tried to let the ball run Preddie smashed a clearance straight into Paul Booth, whose square pass would have given Craig Watkins a tap in but for a crucial interception by Matt Ruby, a shock inclusion following his ankle injury.
United had struggled to get their passing going on a pitch that was cutting up badly and it was a day for playing it safe, trying to eliminate errors.
Yet there was no place to hide for the Hawks keeper just 54 seconds into the second half when Palmer stumbled through one tackle on the left and measured a shot towards the far corner.
Ashmore let it go and was left redfaced when it nestled inside the upright.
Havant hit back quickly and in some style as Paul Hinshelwood found the top corner with an acrobatic, 25-yard volley, before on the hour came the game's most controversial moment.
Preddie came racing out to clear a ball but Booth got there first and his attempt to lift it over the stranded keeper failed only because Preddie blocked it with his arms raised high above his head.
He should have been sent off but referee Stephen Robbins evidently missed it completely.
Jay Gasson fired straight at Preddie and Matt Gray clipped the top of the net with a free kick yet completely against the run of play, United took the lead again.
Palmer chested down to Marwa who sprayed the ball left to Binns, becoming more influential as the game went on.
Binns got a yard on Cook, delivered a fine cross and Marwa ended a trademark late run with a flying header which did its best to burst the net.
United played keep ball to try and run down the clock in the last quarter but they found themselves under ever more pressure.
They somehow scraped away one free kick, Cadmore deflected a shot over from Booth, who then went clear but Preddie got a toe in to halt him at the expense of a corner.
But from that set piece, the Hawks won the first header and despite being surrounded by defenders Watkins got the final, decisive touch to equalise.
The hosts then went in search of their first league win of 2009 and in the end United were barely clinging on - just like they are to their play-off hopes.
UNITED: Preddie, Allen-Page, MacDonald, Cadmore, Ruby, Marwa, Mulley (James 66), Gregory, Fitzgerald (Palmer 19), Scott (Coleman 85), Binns. Subs not used: Collins, Grant. Goals, Hawks: Hinshelwood 51; Watkins 88. United: Palmer 46; Marwa 68. Att: 626.