Boss praises unity of the club as reserves step up to the mark
Bourne boss Rob Middleton was left with mixed emotions after his side were held to a 1-1 home draw by bottom-of-the-table Thrapston Town on Saturday.
Middleton was frustrated by the amount of chances his side squandered in the United Counties League Division One clash at the JJ Mac Stadium.
But the Wakes manager was pleased with the overall performance of his depleted charges and felt the unity of the club was the real winner on a day which saw him shorn of five first-team regulars.
Dan Smith and Jack Bottreill were both unavailable along with injured duo Craig Rook and Reece Driscoll while Warren McSkelly has left the Wakes for league rivals Sileby Rangers.
Full-back Ben Moss made a goalscoring impact after stepping up from the reserves along with Scott Dore and Josh Randall who made an impressive substitute appearance.
There were also solid showings from Andrew Moss and Kev Elger who have both found their first-team opportunities limited in recent weeks.
Middleton said: "The result was very frustrating because we created enough clear-cut chances to have won three games of football.
"In my 17 years of football management, I have never seen so many chances not get converted.
"We had to address the adversity of unavailabilities before the game, but we worked on our shape and formation in training on Thursday.
"We wanted to play a high-pressing game and, to be fair to the players, they executed what we asked of them very well.
"Thrapston didn't get out of their own half for the first 15 minutes. We boxed them in with high pressing and put everything into practice.
"We missed some very good chances which gave them a bit of belief. They deserve credit as they carried on punching and tugging away.
"They took the lead with a break-away so we went in at half-time a goal down, but I couldn't rollick our players because they had done everything I had asked of them.
"We just hadn't ticked the final box of getting the ball in the net, but we carried on what we were doing in the second half.
"Ben got a goal back and I felt there was only going one winner. But we again missed chances and that little bit of luck you need just wasn't with us. The Gods were not shining on us.
"We've just got to carry on believing in what we put into practice though because on another day we would have won by four or five.
"There were still a lot of positives with players in different positions. It was a good performance apart from putting the ball in the net.
"It also showed the strength in depth at the club and Steve Bills (reserve team manager) and Curly Glover (Under 18s manager) deserve a lot of credit for that.
"The reserves had to take a depleted side for their game because of our needs, but did it without any complaints and I can't praise them enough.
"They are trying to produce players for the good of the club and without them we would have struggled on Saturday. They were the unsung heroes of the day."
Bourne had found the net inside the opening 15 minutes of Saturday's contest when Zak Munton slotted home, but he was adjudged offside after a tight call.
The visitors then took advantage of Bourne's failure to convert their chances by taking a first half lead.
However, the Wakes were level within 10 minutes of the second half starting as Ben Moss pounced on a loose ball in the box following a corner to fire home the equaliser for his maiden first team goal.
Bourne then piled on the pressure in search of a winner, but the second goal proved elusive and they had to settle for a point which keeps them in 12th spot in the standings.