An enthralling game at The City Stadium saw both sides throw caution to the wind as in-form East Thurrock came back from behind three times to draw with Oxford City.
The hosts dominated the first half, making the most of the zippy 3G surface to run the Rocks' defence ragged, but found themselves on the back foot after the break.
The Hoops took the lead after just 4 minutes as Postmouth Loanee Oxlade-Chamberlain's low cross found Pearce at the near post. However, Higgins's sublime finish from a dubiously awarded free kick saw them pegged back within minutes.
Forwards from both sides kept the 'keepers busy, Smith and Higgins forcing good saves from City's Stevens whilst Rocks stopper Lidakevicius tipped Paterson's curling effort wide.
Lidakevicius was however powerless to prevent The Hoops retaking the lead in the 35th minute as Paterson rounded the Lithuanian keeper and the defender on the line to tap home.
Oxlade-Chamberlain should have double the lead on the stroke of half time but his header from close range passed inches wide of the far post.
The Rocks came out from the break with all guns blazing and should have equalised in the 55th minute, an exceptional tackle from Navarro keeping Smith at bay before Allen struck straight at Stevens from 6 yards. Their relentless pressure was finally rewarded as Navarro diverted a good cross into his own net.
The goal revitalised City and a corner gave them the route back into the game that they needed, Fleet rising highest at the near post to nod home. East Thurrock though were undeterred and showed why they have remained unbeaten all season as Burns met an excellent cross to tie the game up for a third and final time.
By Ryan Bratley
Updated 21:40 - 17 Sep 2017 by Oxford City FC