Jacob Hazel's double earns Whitby Town 2-2 draw in festive classic against South Shields
Whitby Town served up a committed, whole-hearted display to claim a point against South Shields at a charged Towbar Express Stadium at the Turnbull Ground.
The full-time Mariners led twice through a Jonathan Hooper brace but two equalisers from Jacob Hazel ensured that the Seasiders took a point, writes Liam Ryder.
Whilst the Blues moved out of the play-off spots, they still remain level on points with fifth-placed Warrington Town with a game in hand.
Shields got at the Seasiders from the outset and took the lead after just twenty seconds when Hooper scooped the ball into the net after Cedric Main's cut-back from the right-wing.
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But this didn't dictate the pattern for the remainder of the half as Whitby didn't let their heads drop, creating an end-to-end first 45 minutes.
Both sides were in the ascendency with Hooper going close for the visitors again, and Bradley Fewster curling wide of the post from range before Hazel equalised after eleven minutes.
Jassem Sukar's left-wing cross found Fewster who laid the ball off to Hazel to strike into the bottom corner, just beyond the reach of Myles Boney.
Hazel and Priestley Griffiths went close from first half free-kicks, whilst Nathan Lowe dragged an effort wide for the away side.
Hooper could have given South Shields the lead again midway through the second half. The ball fell kindly for him in the 18-yard box but he struck wide.
But as the clock struck 74 minutes, Hooper did give Shields the lead, and a deserved one at that following some sustained pressure from his side.
The Mariners got themselves ahead for the second time after Whitby failed to deal with a long ball over the top, and with Shane Bland stranded Hooper was able to fire into an empty net.
At that point, Whitby could easily have accepted defeat against their professional opponents but parity was restored following some lovely play from the Blues.
Malik Dijksteel's chipped ball into the area was worked neatly around the edge of the box before Hazel acrobatically fired his side level via Boney's left-hand post.