Chesterfield boss Martin Allen expressed mixed emotions after his side grabbed a point from Tuesday’s clash with Sutton United.
The Spirerites looked second best for large periods of the match but Jonathan Smith popped up in the last minute to snatch a share of the spoils.
“I thought it was an absolute robbery,” said Allen. “We were awful. We didn’t play anywhere near the levels we’ve been playing at lately.
“They were far better than us all over the pitch.
“We changed it at half-time tactically and we improved a little bit. But I thought it was awful.
“But what I will say is that to play diabolical and to come back to get a point and rob it at the end is a nice feeling.
“We were second best for most of it. We didn’t go forward very well, we didn’t go short very well, we didn’t compete very well.
“Thankfully the substitutions worked. Don’t call me a genius for it because any of those substitutes could have come on and made a difference.
“But the one shot we had went into the bottom corner.”
With just one goal separating the team’s going into injury time, Chesterfield were always had a chance and Smith punished Sutton when his low shot from 20 yards whistled into the net.
A magnanimous Allen was full of praise for the Surrey side after who paid for not scoring a killer second goal.
“I think you have to give the opposition credit,” said the Spirerites boss.” They are a team of men. They’re athletes, they’re powerful and they’re strong.
“They’re also well organised and hard to play against and that’s typical of what you’re going to see in this division.
“Today I thought they out-powered us.”
Despite a disappointing display, Allen was pleased to give Chesterfield’s travelling supporters something to cheer about on a bitterly cold night at Gander Green Lane.
“Performances like that won’t win you much but it’s a point gained,” he said. “It’s questionable whether we deserved anything from this game.
“The players didn’t let their heads drop, so the credit has to go with them.
“I am sure the fans were absolutely bored ridged. I am sure they are on that coach going back thinking ‘how did we get away with that.’”