Gloucester City earned a hard-fought point in an enthralling game away to Gainsborough Trinity, with only a late penalty denying the Tigers a third win in a row.

Simon Russell’s dubious late spot-kick nine minutes from time shared the spoils at Northolme after City had taken the lead twice.

Charlie Griffin and Jordan Goddard had put the Tigers ahead at the start of both halves, with Connor Waldon’s header equalising in the middle.

Hulll City loanee Jonathan Margetts scored a quick brace to spur a Gainsborough turnaround in a lightning beginning but in the end a draw was a fair reflection.

The Tigers roared in the opening minutes and had the first opportunity through new signing Jake Gosling, the Exeter City loanee seeing his shot deflected wide.

The breakthrough came from the resulting corner with Lewis Hogg delicately chipping over the defence to Griffin who assuredly nudged the ball past Phil Barnes.

However, the lead didn’t last long as Gainsborough rallied through a powerful header by Margetts to level the game.

Griffin, who posed constant problems with his presence up front, came inches from restoring City’s advantage but his audacious lob clipped onto the crossbar.

Immediately from the goal-kick Trinity completed the quick turnaround with Margetts beating a lacklustre offside trap to caress past Green.

In a ridiculously open start, the Tigers restored parity on 22 minutes via the head of Waldon who capitalised on a horrific attempt at a clearance by Callum Howe.

And the Swindon Town loanee could’ve easily put Harris’ side ahead but after being harried by three Gainsborough defenders he pushed his effort wide.

Gloucester burst out from the half-time break with real intent and after pressurising the Gainsborough defence saw the ball break free and played across the box for Goddard to hammer home from 10 yards.

Trinity began to hit back at City and tested Green with Jonathan Williams shooting from 25 yards forcing a smart save.

Green was called into action shortly after, this time denying Margetts’ glancing header.

A third save in eight minutes was arguably the finest with Margetts’ stinging effort wrong-footing the City shot-stopper who managed to tip around the post.

Substitute Joe Parker used his pace time and time again to force another City goal and came close with his looping header nestling just over the bar.

The young forward made his presence known again but his quick shot was brilliantly blocked after Gosling had created space on the right.

The home side rallied late and the dangerous Margetts burst into the area to be felled by an incoming Hogg; referee Alf Greenwood awarded the dubious penalty that Russell duly scored.

Both teams started to chase a vital victory and with City pushing on for a winner the ball managed to break to debutant Joe Hanks 20 yards out only for a bobble at the crucial moment skewing the shot wide.

Gainsborough Trinity: P. Barnes, D. Roma (Martin 29), M. Leary (Winfarrah 62), L. Davis, C. Howe, T. Davie, S. Russell, J. Williams, J. Wootton (Burbeary 59), J. Margetts, C. Bateson

Subs not used: J. Batty, J. Lacey

Goals: Margetts 12, 16, Russell (pen) 81

Gloucester City: M. Green, M. Green, B. Jones, M. Coupe, R. Winters, C. Waldon (Parker 65), L. Hogg, J. Goddard, A. Mann, C. Griffin, J. Gosling (Hanks 75)

Subs not used: M. Giglio, T. Webb, M. Rose

Goals:  Griffin 6, Waldon 22, Goddard 48

Attendance: 460

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