Boston United boss Dennis Greene has backed defender Carl Piergianni - after his own goal saw Brackley Town end the Pilgrims’ four-game unbeaten streak.
With 72 minutes left on the clock, Glenn Walker’s cross-shot seemed to be flying off target.
But as the United centre back looked to clear the ball it sliced off his shin and into the net, settling the contest.
“It was just unfortunate. Pidge has been magnificent all season,” Greene said.
“He’s just tried to clear it and it’s come back off his shin and into the goal.
“That was the difference today. We had our opportunities and didn’t take them.”
Stefan Moore fired the Saints into a sixth-minute lead after the hosts had failed to clear their lines following a corner.
However, Jamie McGhee drew Boston level in the 27th minute with his first goal for the club.
Having already gone close, the winger made no mistake with his second effort at goal, beating Billy Turley with a well-struck free kick 20 yards from goal.
And it appeared that the two Skrill North promotion rivals would have to share the spoils, until Piergianni’s own goal handed Brackley their third victory over United this season, having already beaten them at home in the league and FA Cup.
On both those occasions, errors from keeper Ashley Timms handed Jon Brady’s side the advantage.
“I think a draw would have been a fair result,” Greene continued.
“We knew what was riding on it today. It was harsh on us to lose.
“That’s three games against Brackley and there’s always been a mistake that’s cost us.”
Saturday’s result was only United’s second defeat in 16 home contests this season, Bradford Park Avenue being the only previous team to leave with a victory.
With Skrill North leaders North Ferriby and second-placed Hednesford Town both losing, victory could have seen Boston move top on goal difference.
Instead, they dropped a place to fourth in the standings, but still three points off first place.
Greene remained pragmatic, adding: “We haven’t lost anything, we’ve just had an opportunity missed.
“It just gives the chasing pack, the vultures, a bit of hope.”