Alfreton Town boss John McDermott lamented his side’s luck after a narrow defeat away at National League North leaders Salford City on Saturday.
The Reds put in a plucky performance but a Mani Dieseruvwe goal three minutes into injury time saw them heartbroken and nothing to show for their efforts in Greater Manchester.
McDermott said: “Yet again we’re not getting the rub of the green; corners bounce down to a red [Salford] shirt, balls ricochet to a red shirt. We’re not getting that little bit of luck.
“But it will turn. I’ve said to the lads you’ve got to work hard to get that - and when you’re top of the league you get that.
“We rode our luck at times, let’s be right about that, they missed a few chances, but that was what the game is about - end to end stuff.
“The last two games we’ve been against the top two sides in this league who have not been beaten in many games. We should possibly have got three points against Harrogate at home.
“And looking at that we deserved a minimum point here, if not maybe sneak it - who knows?
“Whatever I say in the dressing rooms now isn’t going to claw anything back from this game, it’s not going to make us feel any better. The only comfort we’re going to get is by going out and beating York [next Saturday].”
A bumper crowd, swelled by the lure of free admission, witnessed the first game at Salford’s newly refurbished Moor Lane stadium since being formally opened by Sir Alex Ferguson, making the Reds’ task even more onerous in a heavily partisan atmosphere.
Alfreton certainly soaked up a degree of pressure, aided and abetted by Salford’s inability to convert chances, but also posed a threat on the counter attack with Brody Robertson’s full-blooded volley in the 54th minute testing on-loan keeper Callum Burton to the full.
Controversially the referee awarded a goal-kick, despite the superb save being acknowledged by the home crowd, the chance having been created by debutant striker Nabil Shariff.
More competent defending, some magnificent saves by Chris Elliott and more confident counter-attacking as the clock ticked down counted for nothing though when Dieseruvwe leapt to head home Richie Allen’s corner at the near post with three minutes of added time already elapsed.
SALFORD: C.Burton; Nottingham, Touray, S.Burton, Piergianni, Hogan, Dudley [Askew 69], Mafula, Phenix [Shelton 90+6], Redshaw [Dieseruvwe 69], Allen. Subs not used: McHale, Beesley.
ALFRETON: Elliott; Topliss, Shiels, Allan, Wood, Platt, Disley, Everington [Marshall 84], Daniels, Shariff [Johnson 69], Robertson [Westcarr 79]. Subs not used: Hinchley, Priestley.
Referee: Paul Brown.