Andy Peaks praised the character of his AFC Rushden & Diamonds side as they battled away for a 2-2 draw at Northwood.
Having taken the lead thanks to Brad Harris’ header Diamonds’ hopes were hit when Connor Kennedy – who started at left-back – was sent off for a professional foul.
Northwood levelled just before half-time and then took the lead in the second half but, despite the numerical disadvantage, Diamonds continued to create chances and earned a well deserved point when Tom Lorraine headed home the equaliser with 12 minutes to go.
The result saw Diamonds close the gap on Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central leaders Chalfont St Peter who suffered a 4-1 home defeat to St Ives Town.
And boss Peaks said: “I thought we played pretty well.
“And the lads have had to show a lot of character with 10 men for a long time.
“In the end, we have earned a very good point against one of the in-form teams in the league.
“We started the game well and took one chance and we had others as well.
“It was frustrating because they scored just before half-time and then we had to re-shuffle things with Richard Bunting coming off with a calf injury.
“They scored with their first attack in the second half but we carried on going and created chances and eventually took one.
“I think both teams could have won it after that but we were very worthy of a point.
Peaks, meanwhile, had sympathy for Kennedy, who is on loan from Corby Town, after he was given his marching orders
“We got caught square and Connor pulled one of their lads back,” the Diamonds boss added.
“There were no complaints about the sending-off but I just felt a bit disappointed for Connor because he had done really well up until that point.
“He will learn from it and the lads deserve credit for getting on with it and getting something from the game with 10 men.”