Dean Thomas was left with a feeling of “deja vu” as Kettering Town endured another frustrating day at Latimer Park.
Numerous chances went begging before the Poppies finally broke the deadlock against Chalfont St Peter thanks to Andy Gooding’s 76th-minute penalty.
That looked like being enough to seal all three points but a defensive lapse allowed Alan Hedley to earn the visitors a point with just five minutes left on the clock.
The 1-1 draw left Thomas and a 700-plus crowd frustrated but the point was enough to see the Poppies into the Calor League Division One Central play-off places as they moved above Barton Rovers on goal difference.
Kettering will put their record-breaking 21-match unbeaten league run on the line in a huge game at Barton on Tuesday night.
But, for the time being, Thomas was left to reflect on almost a carbon-copy of his team’s last home game when they were held by Marlow.
The Poppies boss said: “It was a frustrating day.
“We have created numerous chances and been done by a sucker-punch at the end having got ourselves in front.
“It’s the way it has been in the last two home games. I don’t think we played particularly well in either of them but I think we have done enough to win them.
“Perhaps we have lost a bit of intensity in the last two games due to a bit of fatigue and tiredness but, having said that, we have thrown away a good opportunity.
“It didn’t happen in front of goal and that is what has let us down. We looked dangerous at times but you have to put the ball in the back of the net.
“It is a point, it’s not a loss. But these games at home are the ones that will get us to where we want to be.
“We are still going well, we are unbeaten in 21 but I would have preferred it if the run had continued with a win on this occasion.”
Thomas handed top scorer Dubi Ogbonna his first start since returning from injury while Ash Fuller also came into the starting line-up as the Kettering boss tried to freshen things up again following a gruelling schedule of late.
He added: “Dubi got round the goalkeeper in the second half and that was a great chance but he started to look a bit jaded towards the end and you have to be careful because he was out for a fair while.
“He got a good 80 minutes under his belt, which we are pleased about. We do have to try to rest players and utilise the squad and you want the lads coming in to make an impact.
“Those who came in didn’t disappoint me. It was just a case of deja vu from the Marlow game where we have had plenty of chances but not taken them.”