Oakham United share the spoils with Netherton United in Peterborough League Premier Division match
Oakham United were denied their first victory of the Peterborough League campaign after a dramatic late finale to their Premier Division clash at Netherton United on Saturday.
Substitute Sven Hart had given Seb Hayes' side a lead late on in the contest at the Grange only for Netherton to net their equaliser in the seventh minute of injury-time.
The home side had been unhappy that play wasn't stopped for a head injury in the build-up to Oakham's goal when a defensive clearance was struck into a Netherton player's face.
Referee Nicolae Manolescu elected to play advantage and then added on a lengthy period of stoppage time following the hosts' protests which saw Zack Fisher fire home the last-gasp leveller.
Hayes felt the performance of his new-look side on the 3G pitch had warranted maximum points following their midweek derby defeat against Uppingham Town.
He said: "We should have beaten Netherton. We created the better chances but didn't take them.
"We were the better team overall. Netherton had a spell in the second half where they put us under pressure. We then took the lead, but didn't defend properly for their equaliser.
"We have had to build a whole new squad though and we've now got five or six teenagers playing each week. We are totally rebuilding and it is going to take time."
Oakham had Mikey Baird, Phil Andre and Oliver Cox from the club's youth ranks in their starting line-up on Saturday.
They also included ex-ICA Sports trio Charlie Amato, Kieran Pledger and goalkeeper Jamie Stephens who made some crucial saves when Netherton had their best spell of the game.
Hayes felt the early progress of his newly-assembled had been highlighted in the midweek derby loss at Uppingham.
Rob Forster fired a match-winning brace for Town with their second clinching goal coming late on after Alex Brockbank had seen a penalty saved by Uppingham goalkeeper Tom Hubbard.
Hayes commented: "We are building slowly even though the result against Uppingham was a disappointment.
"They were the deserved winners as they took their chances and we didn't.
"We more than matched them between both 18-yard boxes but they were clinical at one end and more dogged in their defending at the other.
"If we had scored the penalty to equalise then I think we might have nicked a point which maybe our effort and work-rate deserved even if our quality didn't.
"We pushed them but fair play to Uppingham and credit to them as well because they had a lot of young lads like us.
"They are further down the line than us but, for me, they beat Oakham easily in the last league match so we have closed that gap in a short space of time. I am hoping that by the next time we play them again then that gap will be even closer.
"It was frustrating because no-one likes losing local derbies and I was disappointed on the night, but the most we deserved was a point and, if one team deserved to win it, then it was Uppingham."
Oakham entertain early season pacesetters Stamford Bels on Wednesday night at Lands' End Meadow before visiting Crowland Town on Saturday.