Scunthorpe were within two minutes of sending Third Division leaders Hartlepool tumbling to their second defeat on the trot before substitute Kevin Henderson grabbed a point with a spectacular late strike.
Henderson came off the bench to score two minutes from the end of a frantic game played at an incredible pace.
In a seesaw first half, Scunthorpe went at Hartlepool like terriers, and they got their reward after 24 minutes with a fluke goal.
When a corner was cleared out to the left of the area, Scott Brough's overhead hook was an attempt to get the ball back into the danger zone, but it floated over all the heads in a packed six-yard box and just inside the far post.
There was a massive touch of luck about Hartlepool's equaliser a minute before the break, too.
Paul Smith's latest corner sailed to the far post where Scunthorpe's striker Martin Carruthers succeeded in putting the ball into his own net as he tried to guide it to safety.
But Carruthers got it right three minutes after the break and scored in the right net though he didn't know a lot about it.
Home midfielder Richie Humphreys was trying to hammer a clearance away from the Pool penalty area when it cannoned off Carruthers' back and rolled into the empty net for a bizarre goal.
And that looked to be enough to win the game for Scunthorpe until Henderson, desperate to regain his place after injury, got on the end of a right-wing cross from Mark Tinkler and volleyed the goal of the game from the left of the area.
Hartlepool boss Mike Newell gave his players an ear bashing after the game, saying: "We were awful in the second half.
"Not enough players were willing to stand up and be counted, and we were lucky to get the result.
"The draw and the point are welcome, but the performance certainly isnÂ’t and I've made that clear to the players." Scunthorpe chief Brian Laws was angry with referee Alan Kaye, who turned down a clear penalty in the second half when Lee Featherstone was fouled in the area.
"We were 2-1 up and that would have killed them off," he said. "It's really frustrating when things like that happen. It was a blatant penalty, and our players didn't deserve that to happen when they'd played so well."