Niall Murphy's pointed free deep in injury-time salvaged a point for Sligo against Offaly in a dire game of football in O'Connor Park in Tullamore on Monday afternoon. 

Offaly, needing a win to escape the relegation zone, led 0-08 to 0-07 as the clocked ticked beyond the seventy but they dragged their entire team back into defence and invited Sligo onto them for one last attack from which the scoreable free was manufactured.

The draw means that Offaly remain in the bottom two, just one point behind Derry and Sligo in fifth and sixth respectively.

Stephen Wallace's side head to Mullingar knowing that a win will most likely preserve their status in Division 3.

That's unless there's a draw in Markievicz Park between Sligo and Derry whereby it would come down to a points difference battle between Offaly and Sligo.

Offaly led at the break after a dismal half of football in which the visitors could only register 0-02 despite the aid of a strong wind at their backs. 

Both sides were already down to 14 men at that stage as Offaly's Conor Carroll received a black card on top of a yellow on 26 minutes before Sligo's Stephen Coen was issued with a straight red seven minutes later.

Sligo improved somewhat in the second half and hit the post and then the crossbar as they went in search of goals in the second period. The introduction of Sean Carribine at the interval spiced up their attack and he hit two points. 

But Cathal Corey's team could never get in front and Offaly, with Nigel Dunne and Anton Sullivan hitting scores, maintained a one-point lead as we reached the endgame. 

With seconds remaining, they opted not contest the Sligo kickout and decided to crowd their own half with bodies instead.

As Sligo mounted their final attack, Offaly midfielder Peter Cunningham became the third player to be sent off after committing a second bookable offence. 

Once Sligo re-started the game, they worked the ball upfield in spite of the forest of defenders and earned a free-in 25 yards out from goal and Murphy would make no mistake. 

   

Offaly - P Dunican; P McConway, J Lalor, S Nally; D Dempsey, D Hogan, N Darby; P Cunningham, M Brazil; C McNamee, A Sullivan (0-1), C Donohue; B Allen (0-3), C Carroll, N Dunne (0-4, 2f).

Subs: J Hayes for C Donohue, C Johnson for N Dunne (BC), D Brady for P McConway, S Tierney for A Sullivan.

Sligo - A Devaney; R Donovan, L Nicholson, C Harrison (0-1); Keelan Cawley, A McIntyre, G O'Kelly Lynch; K McDonnell, N Murphy (0-1f); N Ewing (0-1), P O'Connor (0-1), L Gaughan (0-1); S Coen, P Hughes, A Marren (0-1f).

Subs: C Breheny (0-1) for Keelan Cawley, Kyle Cawley for P Hughes, S Carrabine (0-1) for L Nicholson, D Cummins for A Marren (BC), P Hughes for P O'Connor.

Referee - J Molloy.