Gainsborough Trinity boss Steve Housham was unhappy with the performances of both his team and the referee on Saturday, as his men were lucky to escape with 1-1 draw with Chester in the FA Cup second qualifying round.
The two sides will replay on Wednesday night, weather permitting, with the winner going on to host FC Halifax Town in the next round.
A goal from captain and veteran striker Paul Connor had given Trinity an early lead but Chester hit back through Nathan Jarman and the visitors were the only side that looked like getting a winner in the second half.
“I thought we got away with it a bit today. I don’t think we were at the races at all. We were way off the mark,” said Housham.
“The quality in the final third wasn’t good enough. They just seemed to want it a lot more than what we did. We’re pleased still to be in the hat for the draw on Monday and we will get another bite at the cherry.”
The game got off to a cagey start, but Trinity took the lead 10 minutes in with the first real chance of the match, after good work from Shane Clarke in the middle of the pitch.
This allowed Dominic Roma the time to pick out a cross and he found the head of Connor, who guided a looping header over Chester keeper John Danby from 10 yards.
The goal, however, seemed to lift the visitors more and they got back on level terms on the half-hour mark.
Excellent work from Marc Williams, who was a constant threat to Gainsborough’s defence, allowed Jarman to drive into the box before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner.
Chester were much the better side in the second half but Gainsborough weren’t helped by the match officials, whose decisions were often questioned by the Gainsborough bench.
“Was he here today?” questioned Housham of the referee.
“I didn’t see him. [It was] embarrassing. It was frightening what he was doing on that pitch. If I think about him it will be horrible.”
Goalscorer Connor, who ended the game with a slight groin strain, thought the final score-line was a fair result, saying: “We ground it out second half. They’ve put a lot of pressure on us and I thought the lads have shown great character to stay in the game.”
On his goal, which is his second in as many games, Connor said “I always want to score goals. It’s been okay recently. When I score I’m obviously happy.”
Looking forward to Wednesday night’s replay, Housham said: “I’ve told them the pressure is all off us now. We go to them massive underdogs.”
“We’ve seen each other now and we’ll give it a go but we need to raise our game a good 20 percent.”
Gainsborough Trinity: Budtz, Roma, Wilde, Waterfall, Hone, Clarke, Yates (Nelthorpe 65), Banks (Leary 55), Connor, Stamp (Knowles 58), Hawkridge. Not used: Young, D’Laryea, Williams, Ridley.
Chester City: Danby, Baynes (Collins 72), McGinn, Horan, Linwood, Brown (Powell 68), Hankin, Sarcevic, Jarman, M.Williams, Howard (A. Williams 83). Not used: Clancy, Booth, Fearon.
Referee: Scott Oldham (Lancashire).