Lee McAndrew scored a dramatic late penalty to earn Whickham a draw at home to Ryhope CW and extend their unbeaten run to three games in the league.
Kyle Downey was denied twice by James Winter in the first-half, but it was the visitors that took the lead against the run of play through Ben Riding.
Tom Scothern levelled the game just after the hour mark, while Brad Hird converted a penalty on 80 minutes after Matty Weirs was brought down in the box.
The Lang Jacks pressed for another equaliser and were awarded a penalty in the 94th-minute. McAndrew rifled the spot-kick home to secure a point.
Mark Convery introduced new signing Jack Robson straight into the starting line-up and it was, indeed, the hosts that started brightly.
Downey had the first sight of goal in the second minute, while Damien Stevens’ effort was smothered by the ‘keeper on 16 minutes.
Dan Staples was called into action two minutes later to keep the game level. The ‘keeper tipped James Ellis’ fine strike over the bar at his near post.
Robson, who signed from Morpeth Town on a one-month loan, was causing real problems down the left side and struck narrowly wide of the post just before the half-hour mark.
The home side should’ve broken the deadlock thereafter with two fantastic openings in the space of a minute, the first coming on 35 minute.
Conor Newton dissected the Ryhope back line with a terrific through ball, which was latched upon by Downey, who was denied by the legs of the ‘keeper.
The Whickham midfielder had another chance to put the hosts ahead, but Winter, again, produced a top save to get down at his near post to stop a great strike.
The Lang Jacks closed out the half on top, a half that they were comfortable and were the better team for the majority. Stevens fired inches wide of the post before Robson’s first-time effort, on 43 minutes, was gathered by the ‘keeper.
Going into the second-half, Whickham would’ve been aiming to pick up where they left off and Dale Burrell went close to opening the scoring with a free-kick on 48 minutes.
However, the hosts were dealt a blow when Ryhope took the lead against the run of play on 55 minutes. A through ball round Riding in the penalty area and the midfielder kept his composure to strike home.
Just a couple of minutes after Ollie Hotchkiss volleyed over the bar, Ryhope were lucky to have 11 men on the pitch after a very late challenge from Danni Lay went unpunished.
Nevertheless, the Lang Jacks prevailed and made it 1-1 just six minutes later. Robson controlled a long ball forward into the path of Newton, who drove through the heart of the Ryhope team.
Newton handed off to Downey, who was denied by an excellent save from Winter, but Scothern was on hand at the back post to steer the ball home – his third goal of the season.
The game was played at a very high tempo from both sides and in the 80th minute, Weirs drove into the box, knocked the ball past Staples, who brought the player down in the area.
Hird made no mistake from the spot to regain the lead for the visitors. The striker had a chance two minutes later, but fired wide of the far post.
Whickham regrouped again and finished on the front foot. Newton’s long ball over the top was latched upon by Robson, who raced forward and struck inches wide of the post on 83 minutes.
Time was running out, but in the third minute of additional time, Robson’s shot deflected before Downey was brought down in the Ryhope box and the hosts were awarded a penalty of their own.
The time in between the decision being made and when the whistle was blown, but McAndrew had ice running through his veins and he dispatched the penalty, with ease, into the top corner.
There was still enough time for a late scare at the other end, but the points were shared and Whickham go into Saturday’s game away at Billingham Town full of confidence.
Whickham: Staples, McAndrew, Exley, Peareth (Collins, 84), Galbraith, Burrell, Scothern, Downey, Stevens, Newton, Robson
Subs Not Used: Howard, Doyle, Burn, Cranston
Ryhope CW: Winter, Lay, Gordon, Riding, Trewick, Wallace, Weirs, Hotchkiss, Hird, Hodgson (Judson, 79), Ellis (Vincent, 86)
Subs Not Used: Harkess, Woods, Jones
Goals: 0-1, 55 min, Riding; 1-1, 66 min, Scothern; 1-2, 80 min, Hird (Pen); 2-2, 90+4 min, McAndrew (Pen)
Referee: Steven Lawson
Assistants: Sam Parnaby and David Watson
Scott McCarthy’s second-half strike earned Whickham a crucial three points as they beat Penrith 1-0 at the First Mortgage Glebe.
Scott McCarthy was brought down in the area by Luke Miller on 23 minutes, but the resulting penalty from the striker was saved.
Charlie Exley’s cross struck the top of the bar just after the half-hour mark, while the visitors went close in added time at the end of the first-half.
McCarthy produced a neat finish to put Whickham ahead on 56 minutes and the striker should’ve put the Lang Jacks further in front just two minutes later.
Tom Scothern rattled the bar and the hosts avoided a scare late in the game as they held on for the victory, which lists them up two places in the Division One table.
Mark Convery handed debuts to both Dan Staples and Kieran Downey and it was the home side that started brightly.
Stevens broke into the area and drew an excellent low save from the ‘keeper, while Conor Newton struck wide of the post shortly after.
Penrith created a couple of good openings before the 20-minute mark. Shaun Gardner tested Staples, while the ‘keeper denied Jonny Studholme, who tested the ‘keeper after a 60-yard dash.
The Lang Jacks had the perfect opportunity to go ahead after McCarthy was brought down in the area by Miller on 23 minuets. The striker stepped up and had his penalty saved by the ‘keeper.
Gardner and Newton exchanged chances before the half-hour mark, with the latter volleying inches over the bar.
Whickham started to turn the screw further as Exley struck the bar with a cross, Stevens prodded agonisingly wide of the post and McCarthy fired into the side-netting.
Penrith closed out the half with two good chances, in additional time. Adam Main’s shot was pushed away by Staples before Gardner had an opening, but lobbed the ball over the bar.
With the wind behind them, and kicking down the slope, Convery got a response after half-time. Scott Robson tested the ‘keeper before the hosts took the lead on 56 minutes.
The ball come across the penalty area and McCarthy produced a neat finish to put the Lang Jacks ahead, despite the visitors claiming the ball hadn’t crossed the line.
Whickham should’ve doubled their advantage two minutes later. McCarthy broke into the area and had only the ‘keeper to beat, but opted for power instead of precision and blazed wide of the target.
It wasn’t until the 80th-minute when either side had another opening as the two sides were tested in difficult conditions.
Scothern picked up the ball and sent a rasping drive goalwards, which rattled had the ‘keeper beaten, but struck the crossbar and went behind.
There was a heart-in-mouth moment for the home side on 88 minutes after a frenzy in their own penalty area saw Staples make two brilliant saves, another shot was then blocked before the ball was scrambled clear.
In the third minute of additional time, new signing Liam Doyle struck the ball sweetly and was denied by a great save from Miller in the Penrith goal.
Nevertheless, the Lang Jacks negotiated the remaining minutes to see the game through. Convery’s side take on Ryhope CW in the league at home on Wednesday evening.
Whickham: Staples, McAndrew, Exley, Downey, Galbraith, Burrell, McCarthy, Scothern, Stevens (Doyle, 76), Newton, Robson
Substitutes: Howard, Wilson, Collins, Cranston
Penrith: Miller, Faustino, Holliday, Johnson, Moynan, Studholme, Gardner (Metcalfe, 87), Main, Connelly (Brown, 72), Davidson, Brown
Substitutes: Paul, Hewson
Goals: 1-0, 56 min, McCarthy
Referee: Sam Packer
Assistants: David Holmes and Matthew Carroll
Photo: Will Matthews