CARL Macauley said that Witton Albion had deserved at least a draw from their meeting with Farsley Celtic who he accused of stealing maximum points.

His side led twice at Wincham Park thanks to goals from Tom Owens and James Foley either side of Jack Higgins’ equaliser.

However a stunning strike from Dave Syers restored parity again at 2-2 before Nathan Cartman swept in a decisive goal with three minutes left.

“It’s a killer blow to have conceded a late goal,” said the Albion boss.

“They’ve stolen a win, at least that’s how it feels.

“Tactically, we got it right and we restricted them to only a few chances.

“I’ve told the lads that it’s important to keep their heads up because they’ve gone face-to-face with a side that I guarantee will be in the promotion play-offs again this season.”

With River Humphreys ruled out by a bug and Jordan Lussey prevented by a hand injury sustained against Warrington from taking part, he could name only three substitutes.

Two of those, Delial Brewster and Danny McKenna, are themselves still recovering from knocks.

It prompted a reshuffle with captain Rob Hopley switching to the heart of defence while Will Booth and James Yates returned to the starting line-up.

Macauley said: “We set up well and it made sense to go to a back three without River.

“We’re chronically short on numbers because of injuries and illness and of course Michael Wilson has decided to move on this week.

“That makes it tough, and at this time of year it’s too short notice to bring anybody in.

“We had to try and think of something that would keep us in the game and I think it worked.”