Bourne Town shared six goals with Whitworth – but came so close to victory.
The Wakes went ahead through Scott Dore after two minutes and he made it 2-2 just before the half-hour mark.
Jack Humphries put Bourne ahead with seven minutes left but Dore was dismissed for a second bookable offence and the Wellingborough side levelled six minutes into stoppage-time at Abbey Lawn.
Boss Jimmy McDonnell said: “The lads performed well with an honest effort as a team.
“We had the disappointment of losing 5-1 at home in the cup last Tuesday night. All the best to Ketton - they were the better side on the night but we weren’t at it.
“We had good numbers at training on Thursday and changed a few things for Saturday’s game.
The performance was full of positives and there is no great shame in that result.Jimmy McDonnell
“We went to four at the back to provide more protection and Max Cooper moved to left-back to nullify their pace down that side.
“Scott, who has moved to the area, is a hard-working lad who finished well for the first goal.
“Whitworth have got a little bit of quality which showed with their two goals and we could have easily thrown in the towel.
“But we reacted well and got ourselves back in front. At 3-2 we had a great chance to seal the win.
“We were told there would be two minutes added on then Scott was sent off, they missed a chance and scored in the 96th minute.
“The lads were disappointed being so close but they came up against a very good side.
“Going forward, we played good football but we can’t keep clean sheets so we need to out-score teams if we can.
“The performance was full of positives and there is no great shame in that result.
“We had a good crowd again and the message is getting out there that Bourne will give a chance to young lads.”
On Saturday, Bourne will have more support for the trip to Thrapston Town.
McDonnell added: “We had an idea of running a bus and it should be a good day out for everyone.
“Hopefully, other clubs in the division will return the favour in the future as we don’t normally see many away fans.”