Heanor Town need to quickly bounce back for a blood and thunder trip to rivals Sporting Khalsa this Saturday after a surprise 1-0 defeat at Coventry Sphinx last weekend,
It was a first defeat in five for the Lions, but they now enter a very tough run of games, starting with a trip to old rivals Khalsa, who are just one place and one point adrift of Heanor in sixth.
“It’s now all about the Khalsa game,” said manager Glen Clarence after the defeat.
“If you look at the table now we are still fifth, even though we lost today, and Khalsa are behind us with a game in hand. So that makes the Khalsa game even bigger as if it wasn’t big enough already.
“It was always going to be a tough game going there and now it’s become even more important.
“We’ve come off a good run by losing today but we just have to start winning again next week – and there is no better place and no better game to do it.”
The Coventry defeat ended a run of good form that had seen Heanor put some disappointments behind them.
“We had a tough time losing two high profile cup games, but we had turned the corner with three wins and a draw before today,” said Clarence.
“That was a great return to climb the table to fifth after not so long ago being 14th.
“It’s tight up there. But we have come through some testing times and it’s been a decent run of games for us.
“We’ve played some decent stuff and the togetherness is there. It’s been a very good month other than today.”
At Coventry, Thomas King scored the 57th minute winner and Heanor had Chris Smith sent off.
“I don’t think we were great today; though I think a draw would have been a fair result,” said Clarence.
“I don’t think it was a dirty game but we’ve ended up with one red card and probably double figures in yellow cards – God knows where that’s come from?
“They have scored from a free kick from the edge of the box again, but in fairness it looked two yards in the box from where we were stood.
“But we haven’t lost today because of that. We’ve lost today because our quality wasn’t good enough. It’s as simple as that. We didn’t really get any rhythm going or play the football we’ve played over the last few games.”