UNITED missed out on a glittering opportunity to close the gap on the Second Division front runners at the Barton Stadium on Saturday.
They led the bottom club 2-0 and fans were wondering how many more they would score.
But, inexplicably, they conceded the lead and were left hanging on for a point.
It had all started so well for the Blues, with Jamie Williams heading Will Hurley's cross just wide in the opening seconds.
Just two minutes later, they went in front when Chris Melia was put through on the right and, showing confidence lacking in recent weeks, calmly slotted the ball under Mark Canning.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and when Hurley headed home Neil Harrison's centre on 14 minutes, supporters started to speculate optimistically on the final score.
There was just a hint of things to come in the 25th minute when Mark Dunning was put clear, but he put the ball wide.
The second half saw the visitors gaining in confidence as the home midfield seemed to lose its competitive edge. And apart from a 60th-minute header from Rob Hanley that went wide of the post, there was little to offer from the forwards.
An away goal began to look inevitable and it arrived in the 71st minute when Dunning again found himself in the clear. And although Matt Conkie made an outstanding save, the ball went back to Dunning who stroked it into an empty net.
An equaliser suddenly became certain as United floundered and could not retrieve their lost command. Stuart Wellstead and Dave Chambers both had chances to clear on the edge of the box, but both deferred to the other and that allowed Dunning to dart in. Conkie again saved his first shot but was beaten by the follow-up which struck Iain Stanton on the line. The referee waved play-on but then caught sight of the linesman who insisted the ball had crossed the line.
UNITED: Conkie; Stanton, Chambers, Booth (Marsh 45), Wellstead; Melia, At-well (Quinn 45), Williams, Harrison; Hanley, Hurley (McCormack 87). Att: 89 Star Man: Matt Conkie, dependable Next Best: Iain Stanton Team Rating: 2 Match Rating: 3