GILLINGHAM Town manager Adrian Foster refused to hide his disappointment at a 1-1 draw with high-flying Bristol Manor Farm that kept them off top spot.
Having started the slower of the two sides, Gillingham grew into the match more as the half went on and took the lead after 35 minutes when former Yeovil Town scholar Aidan Chainey struck home to score his first goal for the club.
Gill remained on top but were denied victory and with it the opportunity to return to the summit of the Toolstation Western League Premier Division when Jack Vallis was adjudged to have fouled an opposition player inside the penalty area. Kye Holly converted the resulting spot kick, giving Manor Farm a share of the spoils.
It leaves the West Dorset side a point adrift of league leaders Larkhall Athletic, albeit having played four more games than their rivals. Foster was left to bemoan Gill's failure to convert the chances they created, and said it was frustrating to drop points against a title rival.
He said: "On one hand you can say we didn't lose the game, but the fact is we should've won it. We set high standards for ourselves. I said beforehand that I wanted to come away with the three points and it's disappointing that we didn't manage to do that.
"After the first half an hour we were the better side. We created the better chances, we didn't allow them to create anything and the only opportunity they really got in the second half was the penalty, which they scored from.
"We had some golden opportunities to win it but we couldn't find the back of the net. It was just one of those days where it didn't go right for us, they had a keeper that kept them in the game and that made the difference.
"At the end of the day though we've come off the pitch at a disadvantage and I can't help but find that frustrating. I want us to win, and when we don't I'm not happy, regardless of who we're playing."
Gillingham aim to maintain the pressure in the race for silverware on Saturday when they make the journey to Gloucestershire to face Slimbridge.
The Swans have struggled in the first half of this campaign and lie just a point above the relegation zone, but Foster said his side will have to prepare themselves for a challenging afternoon.
"It's never easy going to teams at the other end of the table," he said. "It's sometimes easier going to the sides nearer the top because you know what you're going to get with them, but with those who aren't doing that well it's getting to the point of the season where they're going to start fighting and scrapping for points, and we'll need to be aware of it.
"Slimbridge look like they've improved over the last few weeks and it won't be an easy place to go, so we're going to be to ready and make sure we're at our best.
"We beat them earlier in the season, but they've strengthened since then and it's going to be a completely different challenge for us. We just need to go out there and make sure we beat them, because the last thing we want at this stage is to drop more points.
"We just have to focus on ourselves and making sure that we're better than what the opposition have got. We can't control what the teams around us do, so I'm just concentrating on my XI at the moment and doing the best I can for us."
LEO Hayward netted his second hat-trick in as many weeks as Westland Sports thumped South Cheriton 6-1 in the Dorset Senior League to stay third in the table.
Josh Payne, Louis Irwin and an unfortunate opponent joined Hayward on the score sheet for the impressive Yeovil outfit.
Holt United went four Bespoke Teamwear Dorset Premier League games without defeat when they left Sherborne Town Reserves rooted to the foot of the table, winning 2-0.
Ilminster Town remain second from bottom in the Somerset County League Premier Division after their 3-1 reversal at top two outfit Fry Club.