CHEADLE were made to regret missing three glorious first-half scoring chances after having to settle for a point at a windswept Thorley Drive on Saturday.
The best of those opportunities fell to Jake Alcock, who failed to find the target from point-blank range.
Cheadle went into the game so short of players that manager Mark Alcock had to dust down his boots and turn back the clock in a midfield role.
Alcock was plunged into action after striker Sam Gavin pulled a thigh muscle during the warm-up and a not 100 per cent-fit Harry Smith (hamstring) limped off after just three minutes.
With Alex Wood (another hamstring) already sidelined through injury, Cheadle enter the final stages of the season with three strikers struggling to regain fitness.
Director of football Alan Beaman said: "Though we were disappointed to drop a point, we did quite well, all things considered, and credit to the lads for battling so well."
Keele went ahead through Hewitt in the 58th minute after the Cheadle defence failed to clear from a corner.
Cheadle's equaliser was gained in rather bizarre fashion from the penalty spot after Mark Kent was brought down in the box.
Alcock, looking to atone for the first-half's wasted opportunity, then missed from the spot – only for the referee to order the kick to be re-taken, following the intervention of the linesman who spotted the goalkeeper standing off his line.
John Evans stepped up for the re-take and made no mistake this time to earn Cheadle a deserved share of the spoils. Cheadle have now only lost once in nine starts in 2014 following their disastrous start to the season.
Beaman added: "We have no fixture this Saturday, which is a good thing as it will help us to get over some of our injury problems."
Cheadle Town's Mark Kent (red shirt) igets himself in a tangle with Keele University's Mikey Hewitt.