Andy Peaks was left with mixed feelings after AFC Rushden & Diamonds fought back three times to earn a Buildbase FA Trophy second qualifying round replay at Lincoln United on Tuesday night.
The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South rivals produced a cracking cup tie at the Dog & Duck with Diamonds falling behind on each occasion before they battled back to earn a 3-3 draw thanks to goals from Lewis Leslie, Taylor Orosz and top scorer Nabil Shariff.
Both teams will be in tomorrow’s (Monday) third qualifying round draw before battling it out in Tuesday’s replay.
Peaks was disappointed with the “bad goals” his team gave away but he was full of praise for the character they showed to hit back and earn another shot in Lincolnshire in midweek.
Diamonds are now unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions and Peaks is hoping his team can taste success in a replay as they did in the preliminary round of the competition when they won at Histon after drawing at home.
The Diamonds boss said: “I would think for a neutral it was a great game to watch, unfortunately I am not a neutral and as the manager of the home team I am disappointed we have gone behind three times.
“Defensively, we gave bad goals away but I am pleased that we came back three times and we have got another chance on Tuesday night.
“Lincoln were clinical, they have scored two of their goals when we have been on top and they have broken away.
“So we showed good character to come back into the game and then I thought a couple were looking a bit tired towards the end and they will probably feel they could have nicked it.
“But we are in the draw, we have won a replay already in this competition and we have got to do it again on Tuesday.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game and Lincoln will probably think they have done the job. It’s up to use to be ready for Tuesday and make sure we get through.”
Peaks felt there were a number of good individual performances from his team, which was again hit by injuries with defensive duo Liam Dolman and Jack Ashton absent due to injuries.
“I thought Lewis (Leslie) was good, he scored a nice goal and we have missed him,” Peaks added.
“But I thought Richard Bunting was very good in there as well.
“He racked up his 100th game in midweek (in the 1-1 draw at Rugby) and not a lot got said about that but he has been fantastic for the club and he’s still going strong.
“Sam Brown was excellent as he went through the pain barrier for us. There we a few good performances and that’s why I felt we could have won the game,”
Diamonds’ replay means the Integro League Cup clash with Corby Town, which was scheduled for Tuesday, will now have to be re-arranged.