Pickering Town’s derby battle with promotion-chasing Tadcaster on Monday night ended in frustration.
The Pikes looked to have done enough as they led through a Matty Turnbull goal with just minutes left on the clock.
But three late goals gave Tadcaster all the points and kept them on course for promotion from the NCEL Premier.
Boss Paul Marshall said: “We looked confident in open play, but Denny Ingram had to go off and the next thing we know we’ve conceded two goals to set-pieces.
“Great credit must go to Tadcaster because they kept going and showed that they were not beaten, which is a sign of champions.
“We will learn from this though, we will get bigger and stronger as a team because we know what we need to work on.
“Our Achilles heel is the fact that we have struggled defensively this season, but that will be something we’ll improve next term.”
Marshall took a lot of positives from the game, including the good turn-out of Pickering fans in a gate of 314.
He added: “There were a lot of Pickering fans in there, which was great to see.
“It would be great if we can get around 150 for every game next season and then push that up to 200 as the game goes on.”
The Pikes return to action on Saturday when they travel to an out-of-form Barton side.
“Barton are struggling a bit, but they are a good side,” Marshall added.
“We just need to make sure of sixth place now, we are five points clear of Staveley, so we haven’t got that much to do.
“I have had my eye on the 70-point mark for a while and we are just one win away from that.
“We have a few big games left, so it is a matter of finishing things off as best we can.”
Pickering made their presentations after Monday’s game, with Matty Turnbull scooping a double award.
The impressive Turnbull won by the players’ player and the supporters player of the year award.
Attacker Ged Dalton picked up Marshall’s manager’s player of the year award.