Inverurie Locos boss Neil Cooper conceded it was “two points dropped” after his side drew 1-1 with Wick Academy at Harlaw Park.
The visitors led early via a Gordon MacNab goal, before Locos captain Neil McLean fired home from the edge of the area to restore parity.
Despite dominating the second period, a combination of spurned chances, good goalkeeping from the Scorries’ Sean McCarthy and errant officiating meant the fifth-placed Railwaymen had to settle for a solitary point.
Cooper said: “They started a lot better than us, but we came back into it the last 15 minutes of the first half.
“Our passing again in the attacking part of the pitch wasn’t good enough.”
Cooper was pleased with how his team came back into the game, adding: “They scored a great goal, but it was bad from us. We could’ve cleared it before it arrived at his feet, but it’s a great strike.
“It was also a great goal from us.
“Andy Hunter with some good play and Neil with a great finish.”
Late in the game, Locos sub Colin Charlesworth was wiped out clumsily by Alan Farquhar, but referee Mat Northcroft refused to award a spot-kick.
Cooper said: “Colin Charlesworth is through, in behind the defender and he’s taken him down.
“It’s a penalty and the linesman’s not seen it, that’s why we get frustrated.”
The visitors grabbed the opener on 11 minutes at Harlaw Park.
David Allan had spurned an opportunity to shoot on his weaker foot when clean through.
The chance gone, he tried to move to the left of the box to get an effort away. He lost the ball, but it rolled to MacNab, who rifled home into the far top corner from the back post.
On 15 minutes, Locos had the chance to restore parity when Andy Hunter was set free in the Wick box. But Andrew Hardwick did brilliantly to get across and deflect Hunter’s 15-yard shot for the far top corner over – although the officials missed the touch.
It finally arrived on 30 minutes, McLean skipping a couple of challenges along the edge of the Wick area, before smashing the ball low and hard past McCarthy.
The keeper prevented Angus from completing the turnaround at his near post soon after, getting down to stop a smashed effort at point blank range.
After half-time, Locos were again on the front foot, Jamie Michie curling an effort from the right just past the left upright almost immediately.
A brilliant chance for the home side went begging with half an hour to go.
Centre-back Mark Souter, up for a corner, somehow scooped the ball over an open goal from inside the six-yard box after a pinpoint McLean ball into the middle.
On 65 minutes, McCarthy saved again from Angus after the Locos player had deftly controlled a long ball forward into the area.
The no-penalty decision came with fewer than 10 minutes left.
Then, in the game’s final moments, MacNab missed a chance to nick all three points on the counter attack from six yards out.