Neil Aspin admitted he thought his FC Halifax Town side were on their way to the last eight of the FA Trophy after they let a 2-0 half-time lead slip to draw 2-2 at Dartford.
The two Conference Premier sides will now fight it out in a third-round replay at the Shay on Tuesday after Dartford launched a dramatic second-half fightback.
Aspin said: “I would have expected, after being 2-0 up at half-time, to get through to the next round.
“But you know that if you’re 2-0 up and you concede early on (in the second-half) then it makes it a totally different game and unfortunately that early goal we conceded in the second-half set the tone for the play.
“They made it very difficult for us, put a lot of balls into the box and at the end you have to hold your hands up and say it was a game of two halves.”
Aspin was happy with his side’s performance in the first-half, but admitted The Shaymen weren’t at the races after the interval.
He said: “We played some really nice football in the first-half and I think it was more difficult to play in the second-half with the way the pitch cut up.
“We did pass the ball well in the first-half.
“Dartford have a got a lot of height, a lot of strength and when they put a lot of balls into the box it makes it difficult.
“We certainly didn’t pass the ball in the second-half like we did in the first-half and that resulted in us coming under more pressure.
“We got pushed back and that led to us conceding off a corner and a long throw.”
Aspin praised the response from Dartford and conceded he was frustrated not to have gone through in 90 minutes.
He added: “Of course I’m disappointed when you’re in front at half-time but we’re in the hat and we’ve got to make sure we beat them at home.
“It is disappointing but you either take the positives from the first-half or you dwell on the negatives of the second-half.
“The key was that we didn’t pass the ball as well in the second-half and we got pushed back.
“They had nothing to lose, they pushed bodies forward and I have to give them credit, they played with a lot of spirit in the second-half and they made it difficult.”