Disappointed Heanor Town boss Glen Clarence labelled his side as ‘not good enough’ after they were beaten by Barton Town Old Boys.
It was just the second defeat in 15 for high-flying Heanor, who were beaten 2-1 after taking an early lead through Gary Ricketts.
Heanor had given a debut to Jack Andrews, who jouned from Rainworth Miners Welfare shortly before kick-off.
But goals from Scott Phillips and Ashley Lattimore to give Barton Town their seventh win in nine meetings against Heanor
Speaking after the game manager Glen Clarence said of the defeat: “It was a vital game, but we weren’t good enough today.
“We have done well in the FA Vase and we have the Vase fixture and Derbyshire Senior Cup as the next two games and it was vital we get some points on the board, even if it was a single point. Quite frankly, we didn’t deserve one.
“The best side, the side that wanted it more won. It’s given us chance to evaluate things. We simply were not good enough.”
And his views were echoed by first team coach Steve Huntington, who said his side needed to learn from the experience.
“We were too naïve, playing in front of a good crowd at Heanor will see people expecting entertainment,” he said.
“My belief is if you keep a clean sheet you will win games, we went 1-0 up after 10 minutes and looked like we were going to be in control of the game.
“Then we didn’t play well enough. We need to learn how to win ugly and we need to learn how to win games 1-0 quickly.
“In the last 20 minutes we completely dominated the game, it is our quality that has let us down.
“We can play three or four formations, the players work hard in training and we have people that can play in different positions.
“We didn’t lose the game today because of a particular shape or personnel, the reason was simply that the quality was not good enough.
“We didn’t pass it well enough, didn’t cross it well enough, we didn’t win the ball well enough.
“We have lost two games in 15 matches, it’s a big blow today and it’s about how we come back now.
“We have a run of very difficult games until the new year, we have to take close to maximum points in those games or come the middle of January we will be out of the hunt.”