Lancaster City must make their superiority count if they are to pull away from danger this season in the NPL Premier Division.
That is the view of manager Mark Fell who was a frustrated man on Saturday as his team were forced to settle for a point at Stafford Rangers in a 1-1 draw.
The hosts equalised in the fifth minute of stoppage time and although the equaliser was something of a fluke, Fell was disappointed his team had not made the game safe before then.
Instead they let three or four golden chances go begging and only had Rob Wilson’s 34th minute penalty to show for their efforts when the clock ticked past 90 minutes.
With Stafford piling the pressure on, they got lucky in the 95th minute when a free-kick – delivered as a cross by Thomas Thornley – evaded everybody and sailed into the back of the net.
It was a particularly bitter pill for Fell as it was the second successive away game that his team had been denied all three points by a last-ditch free-kick.
Two weeks previously, City appeared set for the win at high-flying Warrington until Tony Gray’s late deadball intervention.
Fell said: “The free kick on Saturday was a fluke. It wasn’t like the one against Warrington which went in the top bin – no keeper would have saved it.
“The one Stafford scored from was a cross.
“But the disappointing thing is we have dropped four points because we should have beaten both Warrington and Stafford.
“The problem when you concede in the last minute of games is it’s impossible to rectify.
“My only solution to it is we have to score more goals because when you only have one goal you find that one mistake is going to hurty ou.
“When we are dominating a game, we need to make it count by getting more than one goal.
“When you’re only one ahead you’re always in danger of being pegged back.
“We need to make games more secure. It’s about getting that second goal and and we are not doing that at the moment.
“That is what’s costing us – we could be looking at being 10 or 11 points better off.”
Over the next week, Lancaster have two huge away games, which could prove crucial in the relegation race.
On Saturday, they have the long trip to Whitby Town to look forward to and that is followed by a big derby clash with Bamber Bridge at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Whitby are just four points above Lancaster, while Brig are only two points ahead.
Lancaster – who are only three points ahead of the bottom three – know it’s not just them who have relegation concerns this season.
“What we are looking to do is drag as many other teams as possible into a relegation fight,” said Fell.
“This weekend give us the chance to drag Whitby into it.
“If we can go to Whitby and get the points then you can start to reel teams in who are in 12th or 13th position.
“Brig are away to South Shields, who are second in the league, this weekend.
“If we can beat Whitby then we could go above Brig by the time we play them on Tuesday.”
The derby clash against Brig will have extra spice considering Lancaster are likely to have Paul Dawson and Brad Carsley in their line-up.
The pair left Brig earlier this year to move to Giant Axe.
“The fact that Brad and Paul are going back there gives the game extra spice,” said Fell.
“We know tBrig did not want to lose those two players.”
On the injury front, only long-term casualty Sam Bailey is unavailable for this weekend.