Chichester City and Pagham shared the Christmas spoils in an 1-1 draw on Boxing Day.
The fierce rivals pulled no punches in the match which saw third play fifth in front of a bumper crowd at Oaklands Park. In a game short on quality, the home side spurned a number of chances to take the lead.
Their endeavours were eventually rewarded when a Keiran Hartley strike ten minutes from time looked to have secured all three points for the Lillywhites.
But Lions striker Scott Murfin replied late on to ensure Mark Bennett’s side made the short trip back to Nyetimber Lane with a point.
The result means both Chi and Pagham lost ground on SCFL Premier leaders Shoreham and second place Haywards Heath Town, who both won on Boxing Day.
The Lions in particular have a lot to do – with a disappointing December seeing them slip from third to fifth.
At the turn of the year, they sit 16 points off top spot with their hopes of promotion to the Ryman South looking a distant dream.
Pagham have a chance to get their season back on track on Monday, welcoming Wick to Nyetimber Lane (11am). The Lions won the return fixture in September, thanks to a Scott Murfin strike on the stroke of half time.
A follow-up victory will set Bennett’s side up nicely for a trip to Haywards Heath on January 7, when a win is a must if Pagham are to keep up their hopes of a promotion push.
Meanwhile, Chi will be looking to close the gap on the sides above them at Arundel on Monday (11am).
Miles Rutherford’s side are unbeaten in the league since the start of September, and are bookies, favourites to win the match against a side that are struggling towards the bottom of the league.
That would set his team up nicely for the FA Vase last 32 match with Devon-based Buckland Athletic at Oaklands Park on January 7.