A stoppage-time penalty saw Bury Town level at AFC Sudbury to ensure the A134 derby honours were even at King's Marsh while Soham and Needham suffered big home defeats.
The first competitive derby between AFC Sudbury and Bury Town since April 2016 ended as that game did, a 1-1 draw - but only after Cemal Ramadan's stoppage-time equaliser.
The sides went into the contest separated by five places in the table and five points, with play-off chasing Bury (11th) making the early running in front of goal but with Tevan Allen and Kyran Clements putting past the post, while Ollie Hughes forced a save from Jake Jessup.
But it was the hosts who took the lead, against the run of play in the 23rd minute. A goal-kick out of the hands of loannee goalkeeper Jessup was headed on by Mekhi McKenzie and Ryan Horne drove forward before neatly laying into the patch of Ollie Peters to apply the finish from inside the area.
Jessup saved well with his legs from Bury's top scorer Ramadan to ensure AFC held onto their slender advantage going into the break.
An absorbing derby continued with both sides having chances with Luis Tibbled turning Kane Munday's long-range effort round his post, while Peters' low arcing strike went just past the post.
Up the other end, Hughes headed over, before Bury's Tibbles had to make a flying save to keep out AFC captain Joe Whight's free-kick.
Bury passed up a big chance in the 76th minute when substitute Darren Mills rolled his shot wide of the post with Jessup having mis-judged his run out of his area.
But the goalkeeper made a good diving save to keep out Ryan Jolland's low skidding effort and soon thought he had denied Ramadan in the last minute, only to see the referee pull play back for a penalty before he shot, with Joe Whight adjudged to have clipped the striker.
Jessup dived to his left to save Ramadan's spot-kick, but could not claim it properly again before the former Ipswich Town youngster fired in the rebound to ensure his side of a point.
The results leaves Bury five points and five places off a guaranteed (top six) play-off place, but having played more games than nearly all of their rivals above them.
AFC Sudbury move up a place to 15th.
Elsewhere in the division, Soham Town Rangers dropped to 17th in the table - still 11 points off the top six with games in hand - after a 4-1 home defeat to fourth place Dereham Town.
Ex-Needham striker Ryan Crisp had put the Norfolk side ahead within the opening minute before Ashley Jarvis doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark.
Rhys Logan made it 3-0 just before the break but a lovely finish by Jack Mochalski in added time gave them a foothold back in the game going into the interval.
Soham's hopes of a comeback were raised around the hour mark when Stephen Taylor was given his marching orders for a second yellow card, but The Greens were not able to take advantage before they were also reduced to 10, with goalkeeper Josh Pope seeing red with 13 minutes to play.
Callum Russell became a makeshift goalkeeper but could not keep out Danny Beaumont's penalty.
In the Bostik League Premier Division, Needham Market dropped to 19th place - still five points from the single relegation place - after suffering a 5-2 home defeat in their Suffolk derby with play-off chasing Leiston.
Luke Ingram's fourth minute strike had put The Marketmen into the lead, but Chris Henderson (28) and Matt Blake (40) had Leiston in the lead at half-time.
A Dan Morphew penalty shortly after the re-start made it 2-2, but Patrick Brothers restored Leiston's advantage just a minute later and a goal from Christy Finch (63) and a penalty from Jack Ainsley (79) ensured it was a comfortable victory for Glenn Driver's side.
* For reaction to the New Year's Day games, as well as previews to the week ahead, see this week's papers on Thursday and Friday.