Petersfield Town co-manager Pat Suraci admitted “that’s football” after his side suffered a sucker punch with a last-minute defeat at East Cowes Victoria in Division 1 of the Wessex League on Saturday afternoon.
Harry Taylor’s 90th-minute penalty gave East Cowes the three points and condemned the Rams to defeat in a game they had dominated for the most part.
Petersfield created plenty of chances but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal.
“That’s football,” said Suraci.
“Sometimes it doesn’t always go your way, even though you deserve more. We dominated the game and created all the chances, but still lost.
“In the first half we had plenty of possession but didn’t create enough chances – but in the second half we had lots of chances.
“The penalty decision against us in the 90th minute was the softest penalty I’ve seen given in men’s football. We’ve had decisions go against us a few times now this season. I’ve said to the lads we’ve lost only two of our past 23 games, so there’s no need to panic. We’ve got eight games left and the target is to secure a place in the play-offs.”
Having lost 2-0 at Downton last Tuesday night (February 28), the Rams were determined to get their play-off bid back on track at East Cowes and started the match on the front foot. Despite their dominance, goal chances were few and far between with a lack of quality in the final third which was not helped by a bumpy playing surface.
The best chance in the first half came in the 39th minute when the Rams were denied by a fine double save from Vics keeper Alex Ram. The hosts rarely troubled the Rams defence, so it was no surprise the interval was reached with the score 0-0.
The second half opened with the Rams looking much more threatening, and with significantly more goalmouth action.
One of the best chances during this sustained spell of pressure came on 55 minutes when Paul Agbeseyi played in Matt Dougan, who forced a good save from Ram.
On 90 minutes Connor Hoare was judged to have brought down an East Cowes attacker with his arm and the referee pointed to the spot. Taylor made no mistake with his penalty.
Petersfield will hope to return to winning ways when they travel to Verwood on Saturday (3pm).
Petersfield Town’s reserve team drew 2-2 at home to Laverstock and Ford Reserves in the Hampshire Combination and Development Football League Premier Division on Saturday.
Petersfield’s reserves were also in action last Wednesday night (March 1), when they lost 3-1 against Winchester City’s under-23s at Love Lane in the John Stimpson Memorial Trophy.