Under-fire Mansfield boss John Dempster was not satisfied with a point from a 1-1 Sky Bet League Two draw at high-flying Crewe after a glut of chances went begging.
Ironically, most of them fell to Nicky Maynard who was returning to the club where he launched his career with a prolific spell of goalscoring in the mid-noughties.
Now 33, Maynard failed to add to his season’s seven-goal tally for the Stags despite being handed a string of enticing chances.
“Usually a point at Crewe would be a very good one, but in our current predicament we need all three,” said Dempster, whose side sit seven points above basement boys Morecambe.
“We came here to get them but we fell short. We had some very good opportunities to score more.
“Nicky is very disappointed in the dressing room, but we back him. It is just unfortunate he hasn’t put the ball away. He could have had a hat-trick.”
“When the ball lands at his feet, nine times out of 10 usually it’s in the back of the net.”
Chuma Anene, a goal hero for the Railwaymen in the midweek FA Cup win over Eastleigh, struck again, turning Charlie Kirk’s low cross in at close range to open the scoring after eight minutes.
But Andy Cook seized on the chance offered him to score an equaliser over Will Jaaskelainen after 27 minutes and the visitors followed that up with some sharp counter attacking that caught out Dave Artell’s side.
Dempster added: “I’m disappointed, but one thing you can’t throw at the players is their effort.
“Mal Benning cleared one off the line, our two centre-halves were very good, while we had a young right-back in James Clarke who was a credit against one of the best left-wingers in the league in Kirk.”
Crewe boss Artell was livid with Cook’s leveller which he branded a “Sunday league goal”, but his side are unbeaten in five in all competitions.
“We could have put the game to bed before they got started,” he said.
“We were just so lethargic in the final third we ended up chasing our tails. They had chances on the counter attack and could have had another goal or two.
“We were good between both boxes, but not very good in either box which is why we are disappointed with a point.
“We made some poor decisions or thought it was easy, but no League Two game is easy. At 1-0 up against a team that is fighting, we’ve got to be better than what we showed.”