Andy Peaks was left slightly frustrated after AFC Rushden & Diamonds had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Hitchin Town last night (Monday).
Diamonds made the trip knowing that a win would have sent them to the top of the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central, at least until this evening’s fixtures.
And when Jack Ashton headed them in front in the second half, it looked like Peaks’ team would be heading for the summit.
However, they were denied as Hitchin grabbed a share of the spoils when Layne Eadie converted an 88th-minute penalty.
It was the third 1-1 draw in a row in the league for Diamonds and Peaks felt his team had the chances to kill the game long before the late leveller.
“It was a good challenge for us on a Monday night and the motivation was there with the chance to go to the top,” the Diamonds manager said.
“And, to be fair, we got it pretty much right because I felt we controlled most of the game.
“But we didn’t take our chances in the first half and then we have scored a well-worked goal.
“We had other chances to kill the game but then one mistake has cost us and, in the end, we were actually hanging on a little bit.
“So it is a bit frustrating. There wasn’t lots wrong with the performance and we are getting punished for the little mistakes we are making but we aren’t doing the same when teams make mistakes against us.
“We can’t keep relying on clean sheets and we know we will need to score more than one or two goals in games to make sure we get wins.
“But, overall, with eight games gone we are up there so we can be fairly happy with what we have done so far.”
Diamonds now have an enforced break following their early exit from the Emirates FA Cup and are not back in action until they head to fellow high-flyers Hednesford Town on September 28.