Dennis Greene admitted that he was left gutted by Boston United’s failure to claim top spot in the Skrill North following their defeat at Guiseley... but the Pilgrims manager left Nethermoor Park with nothing but praise for his squad.
Danny Forrest’s 43rd-minute strike settled the contest, which was a real game of two halves.
But while some Pilgrims were left buoyed by the fact the remaining top six sides also failed to register a victory between them, the manager saw Saturday’s defeat as an opportunity missed.
“It makes me feel worse knowing the others didn’t win,” Greene said at full time.
“Today we could have been top of the league. I’ve been trying for the last few weeks to get top of the league.
“When we drew at Bradford we could have gone top, and today we could have gone top.
“I just want to get there, take a snapshot of it and keep us there.”
Defeat may have ended United’s five-match unbeaten run, but Greene was full of admiration for his players, adding: “Once again they gave everything, but the ball didn’t quite fall for us in the second half.
“We put them under immense pressure.
“I said to them, ‘don’t be downhearted’. We’re 18 games gone and I’d have taken this at the start of the season.”
With the wind and rain at their backs, the Lions dominated the first half.
United keeper Lewis King had to be at his best to deny Alex Johnson with an outstretched leg before he saved Gavin Rothery’s penalty.
After Ian Ross tugged back Andy Holdsworth, King guessed right before forcing the spot kick away for a corner.
But just seconds after his wonder save, King was left picking the ball out of the net as Forrest’s 20-yard piledriver rebounded in off the post.
The whole shape of the game changed after the interval, with Boston suddenly firmly on the front foot.
However, United failed to really test Guiseley keeper Steve Drench, while Marc Newsham, Spencer Weir-Daley and Ricky Miller also forced efforts off target.
Scott Garner was lucky to escape a red card when his full-blooded challenge left Lions sub Craig Hobson in a crumpled heap.
But the clash, with the man who left him needing dental work due to a fierce elbow as Boston won 3-0 at York Street earlier this season, saw him escape with a yellow card.
Hobson almost doubled his side’s lead at the death, but as he attempted to round King the keeper got his timings spot on.
GUISELEY: Drench, Holdsworth, Meynell, Rea (Lawlor 90), Lockwood, Hall, Brooksby, Boshell, Johnson (Hobson 69), Forrest, Rothery; Subs (not used): Potts, Parker, Dickinson.
UNITED: King, Marrs, Steer, Marshall (Galinksi 82), Garner, Piergianni, Ross, Hall (Milnes 63), Miller (Sanders 73) Newsham, Weir-Daley; Subs (not used): Aujla, Sansara.
Ref: Ian Dudley. Att: 474.