Joint Bourne boss Phil Gadsby admitted he was left with mixed emotions after his side shared the spoils in a 2-2 Boxing Day draw with near neighbours Blackstones.
Gadsby was manager of the Stamford club until last January and, after his summer move to the Abbey Lawn, was determined to get one over his former charges.
However, after taking a 2-1 lead through Adam Rothery and a Gavin Cooke penalty, Bourne were pegged back by Ben Porter’s 67th minute leveller.
The Wakes had chances to snatch the three points, but missed out on gaining a victory for their co-boss who was still pleased with their performance.
Gadsby said: “This was one of the games that I really wanted to win this season and, although we didn’t quite get the three points, all of the management team were massively proud of the players.
“We had praised the lads for their second half performance at Melton on Saturday and we carried that on with another fine display against a top six side.
“The lads stuck to their jobs and, although we went behind after a lively start, we didn’t let that affect us.
“We continued to look dangerous, asked questions of Blackstones so maybe I was a bit disappointed to not kill the game off.
“But we’ve played well and got a result against a side earmarked for promotion early on and they’ve been on a good run since Lee Clarke and Daniel French took over.”
The stalemate gave the Wakes a four-point return from their two matches over the festive period while the draw saw Blackstones drop down to seventh place in the United Counties League Division One table.
Stones opened the scoring on the quarter-hour mark when Ben Porter found Lee Clarke who created space to slot the ball into the path of Danny Barker who muscled his way through the defence to hit home.
However, the lead lasted just seven minutes as the Wakes were quickest to react at a throw-in and, with the Stones defence in disarray, Rothery clinically dispatched his shot past former Bourne goalkeeper Aaron Bellairs in the visitors’ goal.
Bourne then took the lead 15 minutes later when they were awarded a penalty following a foul on Richard Nelson after Jack Humphries had seen a shot hit the post and Cooke stepped up to send Bellairs the wrong way from the spot kick.
The second half continued much the same as the first with Bourne threatening to take the game out of Stones’ reach.
Cooke cracked an effort against the crossbar while Rothery had a one-on-one well saved by Bellairs.
However, with 23 minutes left, Stones were enjoying a period of dominance with the ball being passed around in the home half and Porter saw Bourne keeper Alex Brown off his line and lobbed home the equaliser.
The last 20 minutes was played with both teams threatening to clinch the game but neither quite managed it.
Rothery headed just wide from Robbie Pearce’s cross while penalty shouts at both ends fell upon deaf ears and the final whistle sounded with derby honours even.
Stones boss Lee Clarke said: “In all honesty, I’m not sure how much a neutral would’ve enjoyed the game as it didn’t feel like a lot of good football was being played.
“It was a bit of a frantic start to the game with neither team really settling. I felt our first goal might be what we needed to settle us down and to maybe start playing a bit more football but, if anything, it was Bourne that seemed to be spurred on by this.
“We went in 2-1 down and, after a very disappointing first half, we asked the boys for a reaction with a bit more urgency and bravery in the second half.
“The one bit of quality of the half saw us equalise so all in all I think a draw was the fair result but both teams will have felt that they could’ve won the game.”
Stones: Bellairs, Easson, Bates, Pell, Simpson, Boome, Porter,Peasgood, De Sousa, Clarke, Barker. Subs not used: Chambers, Butler,Hands, Edmondson.
Both sides are at home on Saturday with Blackstones hosting Harrowby United and Bourne entertaining Huntingdon (3pm)