Disappointed manager Billy Heath bemoaned errors — and refused to blame the absence of key players — as Alfreton Town threw away a first minute lead to lose 4-2 at home to Farsley Celtic.
“All four of the goals were really poor — three headers that were free headers,” said Heath.
“We knew it was going to be difficult for us with personnel missing, but for me it was too easy.
“And it was disappointing because it was the first half that killed the game really.
“The side we put on the pitch was good enough to win the game, but we made it difficult for ourselves.
“Unlike at Leamington (the previous week) when we were good in both boxes, they (Farskey) were better than us.”
Despite taking the lead inside 40 seconds and then losing, the Reds still maintained a top five position in the National League North.
The Reds were missing four key players in Josh Wilde, Shane Killock, David Lynch [injuries] and Amari Morgan-Smith [suspended].
But entrusted with the striker’s position, Nyle Blake set the game alight with Alfreton’s first attack, advancing with Bobby Johnson’s through-ball to comfortably beat visiting keeper Kyle Trenerry.
Danny East then headed over from close range in receipt of a long Blake throw before Farsley equalised through former Reds’ Player of the Season Tom Allan with a simple header from a 17th minute corner.
Allan was at the heart of the second goal five minutes later when his initial header from another corner was followed up by James Spencer, the latter going on to make it a trio of headers for the visitors with their third goal on 32 minutes from a deep Allan cross.
Trailing 3-1 at the interval and visibly short of inspiration, Alfreton were given a 52nd minute boost when Conor Branson lashed home a Blake pass from almost 25 yards to reduce the deficit.
But hope evaporated 15 minutes later when a William Hayhurst cross was fumbled by keeper Charlie Andrew on his line and David Syers pounced.
Heath added: “We had a great reaction after half-time. We got exactly what we needed and a great finish from Conor.
“We were on the ascendancy, had a great chance to go 3-3 and we make an almighty mistake and then the game goes flat.”
The manager remained positive, however, adding: “We are having an unbelievable season.
“Because we lose one match at home before today and were fourth in the table, we’d exceeded any expectations at the beginning of the season.
“l’ve said all along that home fixtures are massive and we’ve got some difficult fixtures coming up.
“But all we can do is ask players to stick together - it’s not for the want of trying with this squad.”