Buckingham Town were made to pay for missing a hatful of chances when they were beaten 1-0 by top six side Irchester United on Tuesday.
From the first whistle Buckingham looked sharp and took just 90 seconds to have their first effort on goal when Andy Cleere curled a 20-yard shot narrowly over the crossbar.
That set the tone for the game and further chances came and went for Cleere and Joel McCormick, while Robins keeper Luke Connell saved from Dave Miles and Sam Dengel as the half ended goalless.
Both sides continued to have chances after the break but it wasn’t until eight minutes from the end when Irchester scored the game’s only goal as Dengal tapped home from three yards.
There was still enough time left for some late drama when, deep into injury time, Buckingham should have been awarded a penalty for a trip on Cleere but, to everyone’s bemusement, the referee waved away the protests.
“The game summed up our season,” said Town boss Chris Robson afterwards. “Poor officials and poor in front of goal.”
“Overall I felt we played very well, as we have been doing for the past few months, but we are currently struggling to put the ball in the net.
“Throughout the game we created so many clear-cut chances, and if you do not take them you will eventually be punished, especially against sides that are currently doing well as Irchester are.
“It’s frustrating as they are now comfortably sitting in the top six while we have dropped to third from bottom and there was nothing between the sides, in fact overall I felt we were better on the night.”
At the end of last week, Buckingham announced the signing of Polish attacker Rafal Zawislan subject to international clearance from the Polish FA. The 27-year-old joins after moving to England having left Polish First League side Sandecja Nowy Sącz.
Rafal, who was close to signing for SkyBet League Two side Luton Town recently, has decided to join the Robins while he settles into England.
Buckingham host Northampton ON Chenecks in UCL Division One this weekend.
“We will freshen things up for our next game as hopefully new signing Rafal’s international clearance is approved, and we should also welcome back top scorer Tariq Kotey who has missed the past month with a groin injury.
“There is no need to panic yet as we are not even half way through the season. We just need to gain the confidence again in front of goal and we will climb the table. The table is still tight and a couple of wins puts you up to mid-table.”