Adam Hinshelwood gave his assessment as ten-man Worthing were held at home against Brightlingsea Regent and said: The sending off killed us.
Former Brighton striker David Ajiboye’s penalty ten minutes before the break had brought the hosts level after Matt Cripps' early opener but it would end 1-1 at Woodside Road - seeing them slip out of the play-off positions.
Moments after Worthing had got level, Alex Parsons was shown a straight red card for a rash lunge which Hinshelwood’s men facing a tall order.
However, they rallied in the closing stages and could have gone on to win it with ten men.
Worthing dropped out of the play-off places, falling to sixth following the draw.
And boss Hinshelwood highlighted the moment his team were reduced to ten men as pivotal.
He said: “I thought we played some good stuff, I was relatively pleased with how we played first half.
“We had a lot of the ball and we were wearing them down a little bit. We thought it might have been one of those games where we tired them out and had all our chances second half going with the wind.
“The sending off killed that really. We’d just got ourselves back into the game ten minutes before half time, things were going for us.
“But a completely and utterly rash challenge, it’s something we’ve been doing a lot, it wasn’t as if it was last-ditch. That was disappointing and we just made it hard work for ourselves. It was a pivotal moment.
“But the chances that then presented themselves to us, the lads are a bit despondent because we’ve got a draw that feels like a defeat.”
Worthing failed to deal with Jake Turner’s long throw and Cripps got the final touch to head Brightlingsea in front on six minutes. But the chance came for the hosts to level. James Bradbrook connected with Parsons instead of the ball when attempting to punch, with Ajiboye slamming home the resulting spot-kick after 35 minutes.
Now in the ascendancy, Parsons robust challenge on Taylor saw Worthing down to ten men soon after.
It was the hosts who looked the more likely in the closing stages, although they had to settle for a point.
Hinshelwood also explained the reasoning behind his decision to start striker Callum Kealy.
The Aussie forward had not featured from the outset since January prior to leading the line against Brightlingsea.
Hinshelwood said: "Callum has been brilliant in training. His work rate, his energy and his quality in training forced me to pick him off the back of that.
“When you’ve got a good squad of players, no player can get comfortable and think they’re starting week in, week out. There’s always someone pushing you and that’s what happens in a good squad.
“I thought Callum's hold up play was excellent for someone that’s been out a long time.
“He held the ball up well and we could then get players to come and join him first half.
“Obviously Ollie (Pearce) will be disappointed only three games ago all the praise was on him, he was getting the match ball and scoring four goals.
“You’ve got to maintain them levels and Callum deserved his opportunity."
WORTHING: Covolan; Colbran, Young, Jones; Parsons, Aguiar, Clarke, Starkey; Ajiboye, Poku; Kealy. Subs: Pearce (Kealy, 57), Crane (Poku, 57), Budd (Aguiar, 74), Edwards, Pattenden.
Have you read?