Simon Wormull blamed ‘naivety’ from his Rooks players for the late goal that cost them the win against Lowestoft at the Dripping Pan today (Saturday).
A slip in the fourth minute of injury from captain Steve Robinson allowed substitute Nathan Stone to score the last-gasp leveller put the away bench into hysterics but left the home fans amongst the 680 crowd stunned.
And although Robinson (who was, up until that point, probably the man of the match) took the bulk of the blame immediately post-match, boss Wormull said it was a case of the whole team not being switched on enough from a Lowestoft free kick that led to the goal.
The Rooks had led through two excellent early goals from Nathan Crabb before Lowestoft pulled one back shortly before the break through a Dean Sinclair penalty.
The hosts then had a goal controversially chalked off by referee Lee Venamore in first half added time, before that late second half drama when the Rooks were denied the win that would have rightfully been theirs.
Wormull said of his team: “There were eight, nine, 10 outstanding performances out there today, which culminated in the position we were in with 30 seconds to go.
“Obviously Crabby’s done great, scored two great goals – and added to that the back four were absolutely fantastic.
“And but for a bit of naivety and switching off (we would have won). They play a quick free kick, it puts us in a (difficult) position (and they score).
“It was just a bit of naivety. Maybe just getting someone to stand in front of the ball – all right, you take a booking, but it stops them, stops their momentum.
“But they’ll learn from that and obviously it’s a big hit. You saw the reaction of the Lowestoft bench – they were absolutely delighted with a point. And that just says everything about how far we’ve come in the last four, five weeks. And the work rate is really showing out now.”
Wormull added: “Three of four weeks ago we would have been delighted with a point, but the boys are absolutely devastated because they put so much effort into it it was like a loss.
“And we expected to win that game, what we put into it first half and what we imposed, it meant we should have won that game.”
Of the disallowed goal which would have seen the Rooks go in at half-time with a two-goal cushion, the Rooks boss said: “It seemed to be the lino who made the decision, which I’ve never seen in this league so far this season – but he seemed to be making quite a few big decisions.
“But saying that, that was dead and buried and we had other chances where we possibly should have put it away. But if you’re defending a 2-1 lead we’ve got to defend it.
Asked if he had any qualms about the penalty, he said: “No, not really. Malvin (Kamara) should have been in position a bit earlier, which meant he was chasing the guy back – and I think the guy’s done well: he’s got across him, he gives him a touch and he goes over. That’s football.
“But I’m absolutely delighted for them in one sense and I’m sick for them in another sense, because they deserved the win.
“And I don’t think Lowestoft would deny that if it had finished like that.”