PAUL Holleran was left to lament goals given away at crucial times as Brakes squandered a two-goal lead at home to Worcester City on Saturday.
Matt Dodd scored two first half penalties to give the home side a 2-0 lead but Worcester came back into the match and earned a point at the New Windmill Ground in the Conference North encounter.
The afternoon had began all so differently however, with the visitors looking as though their minds were on their forthcoming visit to the Ricoh Arena to face Coventry City in the FA Cup First Round.
Brakes did not create much themselves but they were handed two penalties to hold a comfortable lead seven minutes before the break.
Stefan Moore, who worked tirelessly throughout for precious little reward, engineered the first penalty on 14 minutes when he pounced on a stray back pass and was sent crashing by Nathan Vaughan.
The former Brakes keeper received a yellow card much to his frustration, which was compounded as Matt Dodd stepped up to send him the wrong way from 12 yards.
And Dodd himself won the second penalty 12 minutes later when he was tripped as he charged into the area on the right. Vaughan dived the right way this time but the ball was well placed just out of his reach.
Moore was inches away from connecting with a Jack Edwards knock on but the visitors began to stir with half-time approaching.
Daniel Nti’s fierce low shot on the turn produced a smart save from the legs of Mats Morch but Jordan Murphy made no mistake on 38 minutes when he lifted a shot over Morch which struck the underside of the bar and bounced into the net.
Morch was, on loan from Derby County, was forced into another save early in the second half as the visitors looked to turn the screw.
Sean Geddes’ well struck free kick soon after coming on from the bench was well held, while a timely block from Stuart Pierpoint prevented another opportunity.
Joe Magunda took a booking as he prevented a Worcester breakaway, but Brakes could not hold on and substitute Mike Symons headed home the equaliser three minutes from time.
Worcester were full value for their point and could have snatched all three at the death when Daniel Nti’s header bounced down and inches over the bar from a corner after Stephan Morley had diverted a goalbound shot behind.
Speaking after the 2-2 draw Brakes boss Holleran felt his side had played well in the first half.
He said: “Worcester are a good side. It was either going to end 3-1 or 2-2, we just needed to keep hold of the ball and manage it better but unfortunately we didn’t manage to do that.
“We gave the goals away at bad times again, right at the end of each half.”
With a blank Saturday before the next fixture away at Worcester in the league again on November, the squad now have a chance to re-group during the enforced break.