SEDGLEY Tigers were knocked off top spot in National Two North after struggling to a second straight draw.

The Park Lane men opened up a 20-8 advantage at South Leicester inside the opening 30 minutes, but as injuries began to bite their second string were unable to hold off the resurgent home side.

In the end, the Tigers were left hanging on and would have lost their unbeaten record but for South Leicester's missed penalty attempt at the death.

The result saw Sedgley drop to fourth place, but they are just two points behind new leaders Sale FC.

Roberts said: "It's pretty unusual to get two draws in a row, we didn't have a single one last season, but I would say out of the two matches this was a much tougher encounter.

"We really should have won at home to Tynedale the previous weekend and had a kick to win it.

"There was no doubt we were struggling on Saturday, especially in the pack.

"We were missing four key players in Max Ashcroft, Ben Black, Max Skofic and Jamie Harrison.

"The side was so depleted we had to put two players on the bench – Luke Woolley and John Geddis – who hadn't had any game time.

"They were only supposed to be there as back-up, but ended up having to go on at the death.

"It wasn't ideal, we were really hanging on, giving away a lot of penalties as we struggled to keep South Leicester at bay.

"So to come away with a draw, especially after they missed that late kick, was a bit of a let-off really."

The two teams exchanged tries in the opening five minutes with Rob Holloway's opener for Sedgley quickly cancelled out before Sam Lowthian restored the visitors' advantage, crossing the line for a second time just 10 minutes in.

Steve Collins kicked both conversions, while South Leicester missed theirs. Both sides then added two penalties each before the break.

Rickie Aley converted one of two penalty kicks for the home side at the start of the second half before Alex Powell ran in a third converted try for Sedgley to give the visitors a 13-point advantage with 26 minutes to play.

Any security the Tigers had ebbed away five minutes later when they conceded a second try, which Aley converted, and by the 71st minute the home side were level following two more successful penalty kicks.

It looked like Roberts' men would finally fall to their first defeat in their sixth match of the campaign when Aley lined up a seventh penalty attempt of the day with two minutes remaining, but he let them off the hook.

"We have quite a lot to be thankful for, actually," said Roberts.

"It was clear we were stretched going into the game so we took the chance to sign up a young lad from Fylde, Mark Goodman, to the back row, and he had a promising debut, so that's a bonus.

"Ashcroft and Skofic should also be available again now, while Jamie Harrison will be back from an enforced absence due to concussion and Mike Quickenden managed 30 minutes for the second team after injury so he should be back in the frame."

Tigers return to Park Lane on Saturday to entertain sixth-placed Luctonians.