Garry Wilson admitted he was “gutted and frustrated” after watching his Lewes side throw away a two-goal lead by conceding twice in second half injury time on Saturday.
The Rooks were 2-0 up and cruising against 10-man Met Police when 60 seconds of madness at the death saw them turn a sure-fire win into a draw.
Wilson’s men led through goals from Rooks’ man of the match Sam Crabb and his brother Nathan.
Those goals had come 10 minutes into the second half and 10 minutes from the end of 90 minutes respectively. They followed a sending off for the Met’s Stefan Cox, dismissed on the stroke of half time for two yellow cards picked up in quick succession.
The game looked to be dead and buried until the Met’s Steve Sutherland pulled one back 90 seconds into the three minutes of added time.
And just a minute later second half substitute Manny Osei made it 2-2 when turning home from close range.
The goals prompted joyous scenes amongst the travelling players and staff, and fury from Wilson in the home dugout.
He said: “The players think the game’s over and we’re caught out like that, which is very poor.
“But players try to see the game out sometimes – they see there’s a minute to go and they’re just trying to usher the ball out rather than play the ball. They’ve got to go and play the ball and clear their lines.
“We were still on top. We passed the ball well, we were patient. I thought the passing was good, the movement was good (and) we got a good goal.
“And for some reason we took our foot off the gas once we got the first goal, and we stumbled a little bit to get the second. But once we got the second the game should have (been dead and buried) – it was dead and buried, really.
“And then once they scored that first goal in the 91st minute we should have been more compact, but for some reason we weren’t. It’s hard to put your finger on it.”
Speaking straight after the game, Wilson admitted still being unbeaten after eight game was a positive if not much of a consolation.
He said: “It is but it’s hard to take that positive at this minute in time. We’re absolutely gutted and frustrated that we lost that game and that thought can’t leave your mind for probably until Tuesday (when the Rooks host Carshalton Athletic, kick off 7.45pm).
“We’re back here Tuesday. It won’t be easy, no game’s easy in this division, but hopefully it won’t have scarred us too much and we can bounce back.”
Video link: Lewes players celebrating the second Rooks goal, scored by Nathan Crabb, that seemed to have sealed the win for the hosts.
ROOKS: Banks, S Crabb (Vickers 86), Gore, Lovett, Austin, Walder (c), Wheeler, Dixon (Treleaven 81), Olorunda, N Crabb, Logan (M Crabb 73).
SUBS NOT USED: Brinkhurst, Peake.
BOOKED: Walder, Dixon, M Crabb.
MET POLICE: Searle, Nolan, Hutchings, Sutherland (c), MacDonald, Huckle (Simtim 62), Clayton (Osei 62), Carey, Alabi (Knight 62), Collins, Cox.
SUBS NOT USED: Taylor, Maan.
BOOKED: MacDonald, Cox.
SENT OFF: Cox.
REF: Jason Richardson. ATT: 788.