RUSSELL Dodd labelled his Highgate United side “fortunate” after escaping with a 1-1 draw against South Normanton Athletic on Tuesday night.
Isaac Jagroop’s goal on the stroke of half time was cancelled out by a Martin Smith screamer, prior to a straight red for defender Shay Palmer which left the hosts in the lurch for the final minutes of the Midland Football League Premier Division contest.
Despite the man disadvantage, the Gate held on for a point to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.
“Once again a lack of concentration after taking a lead cost us dearly,” said Dodd.
“There are mistakes which we seem to be committing on a far too regular basis.
“From a winning position we were left holding on and can consider ourselves more than fortunate to have held on for a point.”
Stuart Hendrie and Nathan Pulisciano returned to the starting line-up, with Moor Green Academy arrival Miracle Okafor on the bench for the encounter.
Jagroop went closest with a header that was pushed out, while Hendrie skimmed the post with a drive as Highgate enjoyed the early exchanges.
Gate goalkeeper James Beeson was eventually called into action down the other end and did well to make saves from Richard Hanslow and Eric Graves.
A minute before the break, the hosts went in front when Jagroop nodded home from a matter of yards for a precious half-time lead.
But shortly after the restart, a stunner from Smith beat Beeson from 30 yards out, switching the pendulum in South Normanton’s favour for the remainder of the game.
Palmer’s red card made matters worse for Dodd’s men, but Highgate held on.
A tricky trip to Leicestershire to face second-placed Heather St John’s awaits the Gate on Saturday (3pm).