Andy Peaks was left with mixed emotions after AFC Rushden & Diamonds were denied an eye-catching victory by a last-gasp goal.
Diamonds looked to be heading for victory at pre-season Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central title favourites King’s Lynn Town after Declan Rogers’ fine strike gave them the lead in the second half.
But the Linnets broke Diamonds’ resolve in the last of five minutes of injury-time as Rory McAuley’s header sealed a 1-1 draw.
Peaks was understandably disappointed and was frustrated with the amount of injury-time added on by referee Jon Burridge.
But the Diamonds boss was still full of praise for his players are a near-perfect display on the road.
“I am pleased with the performance and the game plan was absolutely spot on,” Peaks said.
“But it is just so disappointing to lose the late goal, especially when we felt there shouldn’t have been that much injury-time.
“I don’t think either physio has really had to come onto the pitch and there were certainly no injuries that merited that five minutes.
“And they have scored in the last minute of those and that obviously makes it very disappointing.
“I don’t like to talk about referees but it’s the second time we have had him and I haven’t got many positive things to say. I don’t think we have got a great deal from him.
“King’s Lynn are a good team and they had chances and we had to make some blocks and make some saves. But when you go away from home to the top sides, you know that will be the case.
“The frustrating thing is that after they had a bit of a spell in the second half, we had a couple of decent breakaways and we probably could have got another goal to finish it off.
“I can’t take anything away from the performance though and I do feel we have been a bit unlucky not to get the points we have deserved across the season so far.
“We will play a lot worse than that and win this season so all we can do is keep working and keep believing in what we are doing.”
Diamonds are straight back into action on Tuesday night when they take on Coalville Town at Hayden Road.