Wanderers’ boss Ian Evatt admitted a poor first half had cost his side as a determined fightback was only enough to earn a point at Lincoln City.
Eoin Toal’s first goal for the Whites after 58 minutes means Evatt’s men have lost just one of their last nine games in all competitions.
But having been handed a soft early lead, Lincoln were able to ride out the sending off of defender Joe Walsh with half an hour to go to preserve their unbeaten home record with a 1-1 draw.
“We didn’t win the game based on the first half,” said Evatt, whose side remains in the League One play-off places at the half-way stage of the campaign.
“The first half wasn’t acceptable and wasn’t good enough for our standards.
“We’ve set much higher standards than that and it was purely down to energy and attitude.
“It’s all right getting up and having the right energy and attitude for the big occasions but it’s games like this that really challenge you.
“You can’t have any days off. You have to make sure you’re ready to play every minute of every day in this league, otherwise you get found out.
“First half it wasn’t good enough. We conceded a really poor goal, didn’t move the ball quick enough and were too passive in and out of possession.
“But again, this group of players, once we have stern words and we have a bit of a fall-out, they respond and they responded second half and should have won the game.”
Wanderers spent most of a feisty second 45 minutes camped in the City half as they looked to force a fourth away win of the campaign.
But with the hosts sitting deep and packing men behind the ball, the Whites’ best two chances came right at the death with heading opportunities for substitutes Amadou Bakayoko and Elias Kachunga.
“We got ourselves back level, they had a man sent off – which probably makes things a little bit more difficult because they just sacrifice completely and have no ability to attack almost,” added Evatt, who now takes his side to top-six rivals Barnsley on Monday.
“It’s all us. We created two big opportunities, two in particular that we have to take, but that’s really been the story of the last few months. We’ll just keep our heads down and keep going.
“It’s an away point, which isn’t the worst in the world. They’ve not lost here, and it was pretty much all us in the second half.
“Credit to the players. In the second half they came out, had a right go and got something from the game.
“I thought in the second half we showed everybody what a good team we are.
“It’s just disappointing and a real reminder to the players that you cannot have a day off.”