SEEING his team’s local rivals come back late in the game to deny his own charges a three-point haul not just once but twice over the Christmas period was a bitter pill to swallow for Chelmsford City manager Rod Stringer.

The Clarets - and former Braintree - boss was frustrated after his team were pegged back by the Iron’s late charge on Boxing Day and livid after seeing lightning strike twice at Melbourne Park on New Year’s Day.

On that second occasion, an error of judgement by Chelmsford keeper Sam Beasant was punished by Marcel Barrington and Roman Michael-Percil late in the game and Stringer said it was “embarrassing” how the game ended after they had been in control of the full points quota.

He said: “In both games we’ve shot ourselves in the foot.

“We’ve dropped four points and the second game was pretty much a carbon copy of the first.

“I felt we should have done better and got over the line away from home; with a minute to go you should get over the line.

“And looking at the second game, I thought we were the better side.

“The second half was completely us and yet again we have made a mistake at a crucial stage of the game in a crucial position.

“It has cost us again.

“We have dropped four points and other teams are pulling away now.

“It’s not because we aren’t good enough because we have been and we should have another four points on top of our tally now.

“I thought we had it sussed up until their second goal, the same way as it was over at their place.

“We’ve dropped four points, yet in both games I have felt very comfortable going into the latter part of them.

“I felt we were in control but I can’t legislate for the goals we have conceded.

“They have cost us four points and when I sign people with experience and pay them good money for this level, I expect more, but I haven’t seen it. It’s a problem.

“I don’t want to dig any of my players out as no-one does anything on purpose but I have to face up having done nothing wrong myself.

“We played well in the two games but the truth is that we only have two points from a possible six.

“My supporters expect six out of six and so they should because we are the better side out of the two.

“You have to give credit to Braintree as they stayed in there, worked hard and are not an easy team to play against.

“They have a lot of willing runners, play with good shape and are a good passing side with plenty of energy but I felt the game was only even in the last ten minutes after they equalised. It was a really bad mistake and it will probably look worse when I look back at the video – like the one on Boxing Day.”