Aylesbury FC were left to rue two points dropped after being pegged back in a six-goal thriller against Fleet Town at Haywood Way on Saturday.
The Moles had led 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining but two goals in as many minutes hauled the visitors back into the game and saw FC lose their spot at the top of the Division One Central table.
Aylesbury manager Steve Bateman tweeted afterwards: “Frustrating day at the office and two points dropped. A very disappointed changing room as we were the cause of our own downfall.”
FC goalkeeper James Weatherill was tested as early as the second minutes, having to punch Luke King’s cross to safety, before the hosts spurned a fine chance to open the scoring when Ryan O’Toole broke the offside trap and instead of shooting first time, he opted to take the ball round the keeper, therefore allowing defenders to retreat to the line and block.
A minute later, Simba Mlambo had a similar chance for Fleet but he found the angle too tight and hit his shot wide before Dan Rousell was next to try with a header which Weatherill gathered.
Rob Tomlin tried a spectacular distance effort which just cleared the bar but this was the prelude to Fleet taking a deserved lead.
Mlambo found space on the edge of the FC box and he placed a low and accurate shot into the bottom corner, giving Weatherill little chance.
A minute later Brian Haule glanced a header wide from while Jeanmal Prosper had a half chance on the half-hour mark, firing wide and this was followed by an O’Toole effort which stung the palms of visiting goalkeeper Ryan Pryce.
FC’s equaliser wasn’t long away, however. With the minimum of back lift, Prosper turned and hit an exquisite shot into the top hand corner of the goal to send the teams in all square at half-time.
Aylesbury made the perfect start to the second half when Lynton Goss gave them the lead from an O’Toole cross. Goss hit the post with his effort but the rebound fell kindly for the winger to tap home.
On 59 minutes, Jamie Rudd managed to get a shot away after twisting and turning but could not get it on target.
Goss was also unlucky to see a shot go over the crossbar as Aylesbury stepped up the pressure on the away goal.
O’Toole unleashed another decent effort which hit the post before Rudd was fed across the edge of the area and he hit a perfectly-placed shot into the bottom corner to increase their advantage to 3-1.
And that should have been that but Fleet had other ideas.
On 75 minutes, a header against the bar should have been dealt with more effectively and as the ball dropped, Robert Carr was waiting on hand to nip it home for 3-2.
Buoyed by this, the away side quickly added a third as a cross-shot was met by Carr who guided the ball past the stranded Weatherill.
That proved to be enough for a point as neither side was able to find the winner in the closing stages, with FC slipping to third as a consequence.
The Moles travel to new leaders AFC Rushden & Diamonds this weekend.
Report by Jools Thomas