Gate kept on coming back from behind to earn an FA Cup replay against a side who play a level above them in the Evo-Stik League.
Looking to win through to the first qualifying round for only the fifth time in the club’s history, manager Andy Clarkson named his strongest side for this preliminary round clash in Greater Manchester, with Matty Kay and Andrew Richards recalled.
Gate pressed their hosts in the early stages but Droylsden managed to open the scoring after nine minutes, when winger Domaine Rouse got behindthe defence to shoot low past Ben Fletcher.
Joe Booth’s shot was comfortably saved but there was no stopping Gate’s equaliser on 16 minutes, a superb free-kick fired into the top corner by Gary Pett.
The home side were back in front a minute later, when the unmarked Liam Caddick struck at the far post.
The stretching Pett then gave Ryan Riley a shooting chance but his effort was tame, then at the other end Richards came to the rescue with a goal-line clearance.
Gate’s persistence paid off when Ric Seear equalised on the half-hour, rising highest to head home at the front-post from strike partner Pett’s cross.
Droylsden went in front for the third time on the stroke of half-time, when Gate’s defence switched off and substitute Callum Bagshaw went one-on-one with Fletcher to score.
The alert Fletcher’s point-blank save denied Sefton Gonzales after the restart, while at the other end Booth and Adam Sumner both fired off-target.
Gonzales got the better of Fletcher to make it 4-2 from Dom Kerrigan’s perfect cross.
Ryan Riley curled an effort just wide but Gate were back in the game when the home keeper dropped the ball under pressure from Pett and substitute Ryan Charnley calmly slotted into the empty net.
Two more quality saves by Fletcher spurred on Gate, who equalised on 82 minutes, when Seear was in the perfect place to head home Richards’ cross for his second of the game.
The sides meet again on Tuesday week at Gate’s Brian Addison Stadium, where they host Padiham in theHallmark Security League premier division today (3pm).
Gate: Fletcher, Richards, Rossall, Sumner, Kay, Gray, Ing, Booth, Riley, Seear, Pett; subs: Charnley, Mullen, Bamba, Dawson.