A City, side showing seven changes from the one that drew 1-1 against Whitehawk on Tuesday, battled to the point they needed to secure fourth place in National League South in Hampshire on Thursday night.
And Steve Tully's side will now play third-placed Maidstone United over two legs in the play-off semi-final, with the first game at Treyew Road on Wednesday (7.45pm) and the second leg the following Sunday, May 8 (4pm), in Kent.
The only downside was an injury to top scorer Isaac Vassell, who had to come off ten minutes before half time after tweaking his hamstring and could now miss the play-offs which would be a massive blow to City's hopes of winning a second successive promotion.
City boss Tully said: "We just don't know about Vass yet, but he could be out for two or three weeks. We will just have to wait and see."
And Tully admitted City looked a tired side even before they started.
He added: "In the circumstances it was a great point, They were battling for a win and it was a tough pitch, but we got the job done. We had to make changes to try and keep some freshness but there were tired minds and bodies out there.
"Tom made some good saves when he had to and we had two or three chances to win it but we will take a point. The result of Saturday's game does not really matter now and we will see what sort of team we can put out."
McHale made only his fourth start of the season as Tully rang the changes for what was City's third game in six days.
As well as the young keeper, in came Pierce Mitchell, Arran Pugh, Aaron Bentley, Aaron Dawson, Ollie Knowles, and Isaac Vassell.
But it was McHale who was the visitors' hero as he made string of saves, especially late in the game, to deny the relegation-threatened Hampshire side who were desperate for the win which would have kept their fate in their own hands.
The Hampshire side need to beat Weston-super-Mare on Saturday and hope either Margate and St Albans City lose.
But that won't worry City, who had already secured their play-off place in the week with the draw against Whitehawk and can now relax against visiting Wealdstone in their last game of the regular season this Saturday and get ready for two huge matches against Maidstone who have done the double over them this season, as they target a place in the promotion final.
It was City's tenth draw on the road this season in 21 league games, only four of which they have lost.
Havant & Waterlooville: Young; Strugnell Cummings 9Haran 79), Lewis, Molyneaux, Hill, Swallow, Donnelly (Capt), Mullings, Robinson (Hayter 61), Barker (Paterson 52). Subs: Medway, Thomson
City: McHale; Mitchell, Pugh (Capt), Bentley (Richards 68), White; Dawson, Green, Adelsbury (Brett 75), Knowles, Jay, Vassell (Wright 35). Sub (not used): Afful.
Yellow cards : Mitchell (22), Wright (57), Dawson (60), Jay (75)