Boss 's verdict of dramatic night at Kenilworth Road.
Town boss Paul Buckle felt his side were robbed of three points after his 10 men went down to Braintree at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night.
The Hatters were two goals down and a man down after half-an-hour against the Iron following the dismissal of top goalscorer Stuart Fleetwood for two bookable offences.
And despite hauling themselves level thanks to goals from defender Simon Ainge and second-half substitute Dan Walker, it was Alan Devonshire’s side that left with the points to leave Buckle thinking what might have been.
“I’m proud of everyone’s efforts,” said the manager afterwards. “We’ve been robbed in many ways. I know we’ve fallen behind but it was a game where I thought we never looked like we were going to struggle.
“The conditions were perfect, we looked bright and like a team that had won three matches on the spin.
“However, the evening has been spoilt, in my opinion and unnecessarily so.”
Buckle’s main bone of contention was the dismissal of Fleetwood, who had picked up a first yellow card having gone to ground in the box in an attempt to win a penalty.
“Once Stuart’s got inside the defender the defender’s in trouble,” explained the boss. “He’s got his arms everywhere and is definitely bumping Fleetwood – end of story.
“Fleets has gone down and he’s not a cheat. Later in the game Andre Gray’s taken a whack in the box and he stayed on his feet. We play football and try to do things the right way.
“To not give a penalty and to then book Fleetwood just poured salt into the wound and at that point we should have realised it wasn’t going to be our night. We certainly didn’t show it because we drove on and created chance after chance but couldn’t find the back of the net.
“We were brave and went 4-3-2 and not 4-4-1 and in many ways it was one of our best performances but we can’t change what’s happened - we need to dust ourselves down and come out fighting against Nuneaton on Saturday and go on another winning run.”
Walker’s strike – just minutes after arriving on the field – was one of the bright spots, and Buckle was delighted with the substitute’s impact.
He said: “Dan has got an incredible attitude. It’s really top class. He’s waited patiently for his chance, he works hard in training and never sulks.
“I’m so pleased for him and it was a really good finish. It’s a big plus for us because with Stuart suspended and Scott Rendell struggling with injury, we’re going to need him.”