Oakham United are beaten by Peterborough North End Sports in Premier Division clash at Lands' End Meadow
Oakham manager Graeme Archer admitted he felt 'gutted' for his players as new Premier Division leaders Peterborough North End Sports snatched the three points at Lands' End Meadow on Saturday.
Archer was unhappy at his side having a 'goal' disallowed for offside when the two sides were locked at 1-1 in the Peterborough League clash.
Oakham had been having the better of the second half at that stage and Archer felt it was a major turning point as Sports then responded to claim victory through Stuart Eason's winning strike.
Archer said: "It had been a pretty even first half in horrible blustery conditions.
"But we were the better team in the second half and had a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside when it was 1-1.
"Our player came from behind to score yet he was flagged offside so I felt really sorry for my lads.
"They had worked their socks off and I was gutted for them.
"If we had gone 2-1 up then we could have shut up shop because we had been quite comfortable in the second half, but we have been robbed for the second week in a row."
Oakham were forced into making a couple of changes to the side that had shared the spoils with Ketton the previous week.
Philip Andre - who had been in fine form at the heart of Oakham's midfield - was sidelined through injury while Aaron Simpson's absence saw recent recruit Joe Hussey moved into a central defensive role.
Hussey had a excellent game against a North End side which has scored more than 50 goals this season.
The gale-force wind was slightly in the visitors' favour in the opening period, but it was Oakham who took the lead when James North headed home an inviting David Bates cross.
This stung Sports into action and they levelled before the break when Tom Curtis' pass set Andy Irvine free and he slotted past the advancing Harry Stephenson.
Oakham then looked to make the most of having the elements with them after the break and thought they had taken the lead when North and Bates again combined for the former to steer home another cross.
However, an offside flag ruled out the effort and Sports made the most of the let-off by grabbing the winner.
Curtis was again the provider as he teed up experienced substitute Eason to convert the goal which secured Sports' 10th league win of the season.
Oakham applied a flurry of late pressure as they searched for an equaliser which proved in vain as they fell to an 11th league loss from 16 games.
Archer added: "I've said before that we can give anybody in this league a game and that was proved on Saturday.
"I couldn't fault the work-rate and effort of the players and it was bitterly disappointing to not get anything out of the game.
"We have played three of the top teams - Netherton, Parson Drove and Peterborough North End Sports - since I took over and we're definitely moving in the right direction.
"We've gone toe-to-toe on Saturday with a side who are now top of the league. Hopefully we can keep our game raised and then start beating the sides around us when we play them."
Oakham: Stephenson, West, Ellis-Noakes, A Chamberlain, Hussey, Archer, Gooding, Bates, Robertson, Darby, North. Subs used: T Chamberlain, Hatherill.
More by this authorJames Bedford