DES Buckingham was left frustrated after two penalty calls were waved away as his Oxford United side were forced to a draw at home to Stevenage.

The two points dropped may prove costly, as they allow Lincoln City the opportunity to leapfrog the U’s into sixth place when they play their game in hand at home to Cheltenham Town on Saturday afternoon.

However, United head coach Buckingham was exasperated by what he felt were two penalty decisions that went against his side.

The first came when the game was still goalless, as Marcus Browne got into the right channel of the penalty area, and was charged down by Stevenage goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray.

It looked like a penalty, however referee Tom Nield pointed for a corner, while the second claim came when visiting skipper Carl Piergianni seemingly handled the ball after the half-time break, and with Stevenage at this point a goal up.

Buckingham said: “To play three games in six days is a big ask of the players, and I’m happy with what I’ve just seen in terms of the performance they’ve put on.

“We’ve had 25 shots to their two, but we couldn’t find the goals that we needed to go on and win the game.

“That was made more difficult when there was a clear penalty that wasn’t given. That has a big impact on the game.

“We’ve created more than enough chances to win the game, and we’ve seen that when we play that way, why we’ve had the scorelines of 4-0 and 5-0 because on another night they go in.”

Asked about the Browne incident, Buckingham responded: “It’s a huge moment in the game and that’s what’s frustrating.

“Not only do they not give it, but the referee told me he didn’t see it, but the linesman was 15 yards away, facing the incident.

“We didn’t get it, and then they go 1-0 up, and it gives them something to hold onto, so it changes the dynamic of the game, and makes it more difficult than it needs to be.

“I can’t say any more than that. That’s the reality of what it was.”

He added: “I think there was a handball in the second half, that he didn’t give as well, for another penalty, and at that point, we’re obviously 1-0 down.

“If we get the first one, when it should be, and it’s clear as day, you can then go on and manage the game as you want.

“They have to come at you, and leave space to exploit, but that wasn’t the case, so we take the point, and we need to make sure now we go to Exeter, and get ready to finish off the season strongly.”