Promotion-chasing Loxwood were pegged back by Steyning last night (Tuesday) as the sides battled out a 1-1 draw at Plaistow Road.
Both sets of managers agreed that hosts Loxwood should have taken all three points in a game which saw them spurn chance after chance.
The Magpies looked set to claim yet another victory when Ben Arthur powered home a header from a Shaun Findlay corner after 55 minutes.
But with 20 minutes remaining Rob Clark latched onto Matt Dodd’s through ball and expertly lobbed home keeper Paul Williams for the young striker’s second goal in two games.
Still the hosts had plenty of opportunities to win it with striker Tom Lyons particularly profligate in front of goal, though Loxwood manager Dave Cocoracchio wasn’t too disappointed having stretched their unbeaten run now to 12 matches.
He said: “Funnily enough we’ve been winning games without playing well recently while last night was probably as well as we’ve played but we missed so many chances.
“But that can happen in football if you don’t take your chances. Since our last defeat against Eastbourne we’ve taken 32 out of 36 points and gone unbeaten in 12 games which is good form in anyone’s book. You can’t expect to win every game so maybe this will be a good wake up call for us.”
Having put the hosts ahead, midfielder Arthur also got his head to a string of set pieces, crashing one off the crossbar and another he saw cleared off the line.
And even after Clark’s breakaway equaliser Loxwood spurned a number of late chances to leave Steyning boss John Suter more than happy with a point.
He said: “I thought they should have won the game but they were very wasteful in front of goal. Yes we rode our luck but we worked hard enough to probably deserve a bit of luck, and Clark worked his socks off and deserved his goal.”
Steyning beat Loxwood 3-2 at the start of the season and Suter added: “They will see it as two points dropped while it was definitely a point gained for us, but to take four points off a side flying high at the top of the league is very satisfying.”
Still Loxwood are well placed to meet their ambition of a top two finish and promotion.
Loxwood: Williams; Scally, Swaine, French, Holvey, Arthur, Hoyte, Cave, Findlay; Lyons, Martin (Pett 45).
Steyning: Evans; Early, Finch, Buckleb (Burton 57), Gritt; Shuga’a, Harris, Dodd, Webb; Bilal (Pickup 57), Clark.