MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox felt his side’s anxiety and lack of ‘bravery’ in the second half cost them the chance to take all three points in today’s 2-2 draw at 10-men AFC Telford.
Liam Chilvers was sent off as last man for bringing down Jake Speight near the end of a thrilling first half.
But the short-handed Bucks did well after the break to comfortably shut out the visitors and Cox said: “I have to see that as two points lost, though it could be a good point come the end of the season.
“We just needed to be braver in the second half.
“We have to be more professional when we go 1-0 up and we need to kill games for 10 minutes to give us a foothold.
“Then we let them score two sloppy goals. The penalty put us back in it.
“But in the second half, although the ball flashed across their goal a few times, we were not brave enough.
“I don’t know what it is about us away from home right now but we look anxious and it’s like the ball is a red hot potato and they want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
“We need to pick a pass and relax a bit. We need to just play a simple ball.
“In the end we more or less went 4-2-4 and let Lindon Meikle and Louis Briscoe off the leash. But we made too many bad decisions. Ultimately Telford parked their own coach in front of their goal.”
Home boss Andy Sinton was incensed by the crucial decision that saw Chilvers sent-off and said: “Liam Chilvers is an honest lad and I asked him what he did and he said he did leave an arm out but there was minimal contact and Speight went down.
“I saw minimal contact too. I am getting a bit fed up as it seems to be almost every week that decisions are proving costly to us.
“When it’s small teams against big teams, the big teams always get the decisions. It is hard enough to play against full-time big-spending clubs when it’s 11 on 11.
“But credit to my players today. They were brilliant and I believed, that even with 10 men, we could win it.”
Jake Speight added: “There was definitely contact or I wouldn’t have gone down. But I didn’t think it was a red card as I was wide of goal. It wasn’t like I was in on the keeper.
“The referee made a few bad decisions both ways today and that (the red card) was one of them.
“But we didn’t take advantage of having the extra man.
“Ten men always seem to be a lot harder to break down. I don’t know why it is. They got men behind the ball and we just couldn’t break them down.”