Huntingdon boss Bob Warby was left to reflect on the fine margins between defeat and one of the shocks of the United Counties League season.

Town held an early lead and then battled back from two goals adrift to level in a 5-4 loss at unbeaten Premier Division title-challengers Holbeach on Wednesday night.

Addie Staffieri fired Town ahead, but they were pegged back within a minute as the sides exchanged goals midway through the first half.

Holbeach then hit the front just after the half-hour and eased further clear with a third goal on the hour, but Huntingdon rallied superbly.

An own goal from Jamie Waterworth's cross halved their arrears before Ryan Alexander levelled.

But Town were trailing again within two minutes as Holbeach tucked away a penalty and a fifth goal gave the hosts breathing space with 10 minutes to go.

But Huntingdon refused to roll over and Staffieri struck his second of the night from the spot after the hosts had captain Jamie Stevens dismissed for conceding a penalty in stoppage time.

Warby admitted: "I don't know whether to reflect on the great performances my boys put in, or bemoan our lack of luck.

"When pulling a game back to 3-3 from 3-1 away to one of the favourites for the title, you shut up shop, but unfortunately by the time the lads had even thought it than we had conceded a penalty and were chasing the game once more.

"The Holbeach keeper then pulled off a stunning reaction save to stop us getting level again and the very next attack led to Holbeach scoring again after our goalkeeper Andy Hewitt had pulled off the save of the night only to see the loose ball fall kindly to a home player.

"We had a couple of players missing which makes our performance against a full-strength Holbeach team all the more pleasing.

"Our boys have been through an awful lot and yet no-one from our camp will ever criticise their desire or commitment. Outsiders can and do, but once you actually know the effort these lads put into playing for the Town then you'd realise their great attitude and passion for one another."

Huntingdon turn their attention to the UCL KO Cup tomorrow, when they host Division One side Bugbrooke in the opening round at Jubilee Park (3pm).