Mansfield Town suffered heartbreak at the death as Nathan Smith’s goal denied the Stags three points at Port Vale on Saturday afternoon.
Kellan Gordon’s maiden strike in amber and blue was cancelled out by Mark Cullen in first-half added time.
But Mansfield would not let this deter them as Danny Rose revived their one-goal lead from the spot – before Smith again restored parity in the dying embers.
The teamsheet signalled only two changes as the Stags looked to bounce back in Staffordshire.
Hayden White’s timely return from injury saw him take the place of the suspended Matt Preston, while Omari Sterling-James dropped to the bench for Otis Khan.
The Stags’ latest league outing began in stop-start fashion with both Danny Rose and Cristian Montana requiring attention for respective head injuries.
It eventually began to spark into life when Cullen, alive to the bouncing ball, struck an effort with power against the palms of Conrad Logan.
Down the other end, though, the Stags had two opportunities to find an early advantage.
Ryan Sweeney was unable to find the back of the net with his header before Conor Shaughnessy flicked agonisingly wide from the subsequent corner.
But it would not matter as they found the breakthrough in the 14th minute.
CJ Hamilton’s initial attempt was thwarted by Scott Brown, but the Vale ‘keeper could do nothing more than watch Gordon pounce onto the rebound from close range.
And the visitors almost doubled their lead soon after as Rose directed his header over the bar from a promising position.
Conor Shaughnessy then looked to utilise Hamilton’s pace by threading a through ball, which unfortunately had too much weight for the Mansfield winger.
The Valiants were awarded a dangerously-positioned set-piece, however, they were unable to capitalise with Cullen’s header sailing wide.
But with only seconds remaining in the first period, Vale restored parity.
Tom Pope wriggled his way into the penalty where it seemed as though he was lining up a sight at goal – instead scooping a cross towards Cullen who was on hand to turn the ball home.
It was a cruel blow for Mansfield who had to settle for level-pegging at the interval.
Dempster’s side wasted no time in trying to restore their headway in the early stages of the second period.
Hamilton’s lung-busting run carried the number 22 from the halfway line but his eventual delivery was dealt with by the hosts.
Then, a crisp move from Mansfield that included several amber and blue shirts ended with Khan narrowly missing his mark.
The Stags had evidently upped the ante since the half-time break and looked lively in all areas of the pitch.
Khan then dragged an effort wide from the edge of Brown’s 18-yard box after more excellent work from Hamilton on the near-side touchline.
The energetic winger continued to cause problems for the Valiants and a sublime touch allowed him time and space, before ultimately being closed down as he pulled the trigger.
And on 74 minutes, the Stags were offered a chance to take the lead for the second time on Saturday afternoon.
Rose – brought down inside the area – assumed responsibility of the penalty kick and sent Brown diving the opposite way to give his side a well-deserved lead once more.
The striker’s seventh goal in Sky Bet League Two was met with a chorus of cheers as their second-half dominance had looked to have paid dividends.
However, with little over 93 minutes on the clock, the hosts levelled up once more.
Nathan Smith was able to bundle the ball home amongst a crowd of bodies to ensure the spoils would be shared in Staffordshire.
There was to be no further action of note as the Stags suffered heartbreak at the death.
Mansfield’s next fixture arrives in the shape of Plymouth Argyle, when they visit One Call Stadium on Saturday 28 September.
STAGS XI: Logan (GK), White, Benning, Pearce ©, Bishop, Khan (MacDonald 86’), Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Gordon, Hamilton, Rose.
UNUSED SUBS: Stone (GK), Mellis, Afolayan, Cook, Sterling-James, Smith.
PORT VALE XI: Brown (GK), Gibbons, Crookes, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Pope ©, Montano (Lloyd 14’(Bennett 82’)), Cullen, Taylor, Smith.
UNUSED SUBS: Maddison (GK), Kennedy, Pugh, Burgess, Brisley.
REFEREE: Josh Smith
ASSISTANTS: Gary Hilton & Wade Smith
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Ravel Cheosiaua