Oakham United joint manager Andy Saddington was left frustrated by his side’s 1-1 draw at Parson Drove on Saturday.
Third-placed Oakham took an early lead against the side that currently sit fourth in the Peterborough and District League but were caught sleeping by the hosts, who levelled before being reduced to 10 men towards the end of the first half.
“It’s a bit disappointing as we could have gone top of the table,” said Saddington.
“It’s a point away from home so if we look at it that way it’s not a bad result but I think we could have worked harder.”
Skipper Eddie McDonald put Oakham in front after 10 minutes,taking one touch to control the ball before firing across the Drove keeper from inside the area.
But Drove were not behind for long. Oakham allowed Shaun Simpson too much space in a crowded penalty area and he scored with a shot that found its way between goalkeeper Shane Hicks’ legs.
Saddington had no blame for his keeper, and said: “It was hard and low, and Shane was unsighted but we should not have given their player so much time in the area.”
Simpson was then sent off for a second bookable offence but United failed to capitlise.
James Twose and Alex Brockbank both had chances for Oakham but Drove were content to defend deep throughout the second half.
“They sat 10 players behind the ball and we did not have the edge to break them down,” added Saddington who will be without three key players against when his side takes on Deeping Rangers Reserves this weekend.
Centre back Jamie Forbes and midfield playmaker Eddie McDonald are both suspended and top scorer Nathan Arkle is also unavailable for selection.
Saddington said: “We have enough players with the reserves but it’s hard to replace three players in key positions.”
Saturday’s match against Deeping’s reserves kicks off at 2pm at Catmose College.
Oakham: Shane Hicks, Craig Welbourne, Jamie Forbes, Tom Bain, Ben Dickinson, Will Lee (Tony Maher), Eddie McDonald, James Twose, Robbie Dance, Nathan Arkle, Alex Brockbank. Sub unused: Tom Gregg.
Oakham United Reserves, who did not have a fixture last weekend, return to cup action on Saturday.
Oakham face Greenhill Reserves at home with a 1pm kick off.