Macclesfield Town produced a dramatic five-minute comeback to take all three points against Hartlepool United at Victoria Park.
An 85th-minute equaliser from Ryan Lloyd and a last-gasp header from Keith Lowe saw the Silkmen come from behind after Michael Woods had put Hartlepool ahead at the break.
They had begun the day in fourth position, having picked up a 1-1 draw with Maidenhead last time out but end the day in third, just one point from the top of the National League.
John Askey made one change for this one, with Danny Whitaker coming in for Elliot Durrell.
On a cold afternoon in the North East, it was the hosts who created the first decent opening of the afternoon after 13 minutes. The opportunity fell to former Wolves striker Jake Cassidy who, after receiving the ball on the edge of the area, placed it high over Shwan Jalal’s crossbar.
Mitch Hancox proved to be the architect of Macclesfield’s first chance of the afternoon. It was his clever ball into the penalty area that found the run of Tyrone Marsh, but the forward could only put it wide of the left-hand post.
Having entered the day with top spot in the division in their sights, Macclesfield began to grow into the game as the half wore on. Scott Burgess, this time, going close after being played in on the edge of the box by Danny Whitehead.
However, despite a strong spell from the visitors, it was the hosts who opened the scoring after 39 minutes. Michael Woods was the man who grabbed it – beating the efforts of the advancing Jalal in the Macclesfield goal.
Mitch Hancox went close to levelling the scores just two minutes later, but his powerful effort was well saved by Scott Loach.
The second half began with Macclesfield on the front foot and just one minute after kicking off, Loach was forced into action. Having spotted the run of Ryan Lloyd, Marsh fed him in and Loach had to be at his best to deny the former Chester man from close range.
Askey introduced Durrell as a 53rd-minute substitution, as he looked for a way to get his side back in the game. He replaced Hancox.
The Durrell change almost had the desired effect. Just 10 minutes later, his dangerous free kick caused all sorts of problems for Loach. The ball, though, was eventually cleared well by Scott Harrison after the ball just evaded the onrushing Marsh. Scott Wilson replaced Burgess shortly afterwards.
Despite being second best for the majority of the second period, Jalal was forced to stop Hartlepool putting the contest to bed after 72 minutes. Woods looked certain to score his second of the afternoon, but the experienced goalkeeper got down well to his left-hand side and powerfully beat the ball away.
Whitehead was the next to see his hard work create an opening for Macclesfield, but his effort flew high and wide of Loach’s goal.
The earlier introduction of Durrell again proved to be a smart move from Askey, but this time it led to the all-important equaliser. It was his low ball that laid the opportunity on a plate for Ryan Lloyd, and his clinical effort proved to be too good for Loach in the Hartlepool goal as the Silkmen pulled level.
There was still late drama to come, though. Keith Lowe the man to react quickest to a drop down in the area and duly nodded in what proved to be the winning goal for the visitors.
The win moves Macclesfield up to third in the table and they host fellow promotion challengers Wrexham at Moss Rose next Saturday (9th).
Team: Jalal; Hodgkiss, Lowe, Pilkington, Fitzpatrick; Burgess (Wilson), Whitehead, Whitaker, Lloyd, Hancox (Durrell), Marsh (Kennedy).
Subs not used: Ramsbottom, Arthur.
Attendance: 3082 (106)
By Steven Dale.