Barton Rovers had to settle for a point at home to Uxbridge on Saturday as two late goals and two inexplicable refereeing decisions cost them dearly.
The hosts were on top from the off as Alex O’Brien forced a great save from Sam Gray early on, while Tyler Ingham went close and Lucas Perry had a goalbound effort cleared.
The opening goal finally arrived on the half hour as the ever present O’Brien had another good shot blocked but from the resulting corner debutant Mario Santa-Costa headed home.
The second half was a mirror image of the first, with Ingham deservedly doubling Rovers’ deserved lead on 67 minutes from a great Joe Reynolds cross.
Rovers battled on and a long ball over the top was destined for the forward-charging O’Brien to latch on to but visiting keeper Gray rushed out of his area and handled to stop a clear goal.
To everyone’s amazement Gray only saw yellow.
Two minutes later at the other end Santa-Costa was shoulder to shoulder with Anthony O’Connor and conceded a corner, but there was another shock as the referee pointed to the spot for a foul on the Uxbridge player. The penalty was converted by Reece Grant.
Rovers had dominated proceedings but switched off for the last five minutes and allowed Mitchell Wiseman to level things up for the visitors, scoring unmarked from a corner.
Barton could have still won it with Matt Nolan having a last gasp effort sail over the bar.
Next up is a hastily re-arranged trip to Aylesbury FC on Wednesday after the match was postponed on Monday. On Saturday they visit county neighbours Arlesey Town.