Boreham Wood drew for only the third time this season, sharing a goal-a-piece with Gateshead at the International Stadium.
Wes York had opened the scoring for the Heed in the first half, thrashing past Wood stopper Grant Smith.
The Wood looked to be heading for a third successive loss, until Ricky Shakes (87) popped up in the box late on, to save Luke Garrard’s side with a sweetly struck half-volley.
The Wood stuck with the usual 3-5-2 formation, as Jamie Turley returned at centre-back, forming an impressive trio with Dean Wells and Dave Stephens.
There was a slow start to the match, but it nearly sprung into life when Tom Champion nodded on Bruno Andrade’s free-kick, Holman was ready to pounce, but Gateshead thumped clear.
The Heed had a direct style to their play and it suited the pace of Patrick McLaughlin on the left, the winger met a long ball on the flank and flashed it low across the box, but Smith pushed wide.
The Wood were struggling to break through the Heed’s stubborn backline, but James Montgomery nearly handed them the lead. The ‘keeper dropped Andrade’s cross into the path of Dan Holman, but he was down quickly to claw it from the striker’s feet.
A clever collection of passes from the home side found Scott Barrow, but he failed to look up and cracked a weak shot straight at Turley, that bounced away from danger.
Andrade tried to squeeze his way through the penalty area with a kick and a flick, but he was pushed off the ball as Gateshead thumped it forward again.
Garrard’s side then had a penalty call waved away, Kane Smith had broken forward and appeared to have been hauled down in the area, but the referee waved play on.
However, it was the home side who made the breakthrough, Barrow dragged the ball into the box, Jordan Burrow flicked forward and York thrashed past Smith.
Frustration was cursing through the Wood, and Shakes’ sent a long-ball up field, it landed directly at the feet of Andrade, who twisted and turned, but he couldn’t find a way past Callum Williams.
The Wood’s passing style of play was struggling against the Heed, but a one-two between Blair Turgott and Andrade, let the forward loose on goal. However, Andrade’s touch was too hard and Montgomery collected.
Holman should have equalised for the visitors shortly before the break, Andrade was free in the area and struck at Montgomery, the stopper could only push into the path of Holman, but he laced it wide of the mark.
Gateshead’s full-back Barrow appeared in a confident mood, he raced forward and launched another long-range strike, but it was narrowly over the woodwork.
The full-back’s cross was then deflected into the path of Hannant on the edge of the area and he hit it from 25-yards, but Stephens blocked deep into his area.
Still searching for the elusive equaliser, Champion made a late run into the box before meeting Smith’s cross and attempting to clip it above the ‘keeper, but it drifted narrowly wide.
Smith crossed into the box, but it was curling goal-wards and Montgomery was forced to push it against the crossbar, to prevent it from going over the line.
Hannant’s low delivery from the right looked dangerous and was heading for McLaughlin, but the winger couldn’t get a toe to it, as it sailed past him.
The result had begun to look like a certainty, however Shakes popped up in the dying embers of the game. Andrade’s corner was poorly cleared and fell to Shakes on the half-volley, the wing-back looked up and thwacked past Montgomery.
The Wood: G Smith, K Smith, Ricketts, Wells, Stephens (Yellow), Shakes (yellow), Champion, Andrade, Turley, Turgott (Jeffers 59), Holman (Thomas 80)
Subs not used: Bozkurt (GK), Benson, Woodard
Gateshead: Montgomery, Barrow, Byrne (C), Fyfield, York, Peniket (Burrow 14), Johnson (Preston 70), McLaughlin, Maxwell (Penn 80), Hannant, Williams
Subs not used: O’Donnell, Hanford
The Wood: Shakes 87′
Gateshead: York, 30′
Attendance: 606 (23 away)