Widnes manager Michael Ellison couldn’t hide his disappointment as they were denied a win late on.
Jay Roberts made their pressure count in the latter stages of the second-half as he expertly finished off a Whites counter-attack.
Despite sitting 19th going into the derby clash, Widnes were much the better side throughout and encountered an inspired Danny Taberner.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time when captain Steven Irwin was shown a straight red card.
But Roberts’ second goal in as many games since his return to the DCBL Stadium fired Ellison’s side to the verge of an important three points in their battle to beat the drop.
However, Jamie Rainford scrambled the ball over the line in the fourth minute of added time at the end of the 90 minutes.
“Devastated, it’s tough,” he told Off The Park. “When a few days go by and I settle down, I’ll think it’s a really good point but I’m devastated to not get all three.
“I thought we were on the end of some poor decisions, horrendous decisions and we were the better side from start to finish and that includes with 10 men. Make no mistake, we’ve pushed a really good side to the wire and I think they’ve got out of jail, that’s twice we’ve been on the receiving end of goals and it’s really tough to take.
“I can’t criticise the lads, I really can’t, they’ve given everything. When you go down to 10 men it’s hard, on a big pitch, that moment I don’t think someone’s tracked the runner and it’s bobbled in on the line – I suppose that’s your luck when you’re down there.”
A win for Widnes would’ve seen them move level on points with the three teams above them but remain in the bottom two due to their inferior goal difference.
After last weekend’s clash with Clitheroe fell foul of the worsening conditions, they went into Saturday on the back of their 3-2 win over Glossop North End.
George Hassall had a late second goal chalked off which would’ve shed daylight between the two Halton sides, a decision the Widnes boss left questioning along with the red card during the first-half.
Ellison added: “It’s fine margins and that’s football. We scored in the 87th-minute winner [against Glossop North End] and we’re delirious, today we’ve conceded in the 94th-minute equaliser.
“We’ve scored a second goal, it was a perfectly good second goal but he’s given it offside and we’re just shocked, really shocked, it’s as poor of a decision as I’ve seen. I think they were poor all day, I think the ref has played the shout for the sending off, I don’t think it’s a sending off, it hasn’t helped us.
“That second one, I just don’t know, he said he’ll talk to me, it’s [the video] is on Twitter already, we’ve seen it and I’ve asked to him a look and he said he will.
“We were the better team there’s no two ways about it, first-half we’ve had four clear-cut chances, we’ve had two one-on-one’s and Jay Roberts, you have to take two of them.
“Do that and it’s 2-0, again, in the game I felt we needed the second goal like Workington away, good sides have quality and they’ll wait for that moment and when that moment comes they take it – that’s why they’re where they are.
“We just needed that second goal then when we got it I was delighted because I thought we got it then to have it taken away it’s tough.
“I’ll analyse the performance, I don’t think there was much wrong with that, if you said to me before the game we wouldn’t track a runner, in the 94th minute, down to 10 men you’d have took it. Apart from that, I don’t think Cam [Terry] has had a save to make. They’ve hit the bar second-half and that’s it and I think we dominated. That’s football, it’s cruel, we’ll dust ourselves, go again and our luck will change hopefully.”