Manager Craig Denton could not disguise his frustration after Rainworth Miners Welfare’s nine-match unbeaten run came to an end at Bottesford Town on Saturday.
After playing some scintillating football and taking the lead, the promotion-pushing Wrens lost their way and succumbed to a 2-1 defeat with both goals the result of errors. It left them seventh in the Northern Counties East League, Premier Division table, nine points behind leaders Handsworth Parramore.
Denton was in no mood to make excuses in his post-match interview. He said: “I could say we were without three or four players and only had three on the bench, but that’s not going to happen.
“The team I put out should have been strong enough to have got something from the match, but they didn’t do it.
“In the previous nine games, we played a certain way, and our attitude was positive. But on Saturday, we just didn’t do that.
“A couple of players tried to do things we simply don’t do and have not done all season, so I’m very disappointed that we’ve come away with absolutely nothing as a result.
“Bottesford seemed to want it more than we did. They dug in and worked hard, and we’ve inexplicably shied away from that.”
Denton admitted that the pressure of maintaining the unbeaten run, which resulted in him being named Premier Division manager of the month for November in an online poll, had been intense.
He continued: “We are all aware that our opponents know they are coming up against an in-form team, and the longer a run goes on, the more the opponents lift their game. So that means we have to keep on improving, to keep our run going. But now we have a bit of a reality check ahead of our game against Bridlington on Saturday.
“We know that will be a hard game. We won 2-1 there in August but, since then, they’ve added a few new players as well as losing one or two.
“We need to rediscover and put into practice how we played in that long unbeaten run so that we don’t have another performance like this.
“For the first 20 minutes, we moved the ball around, and kept the ball for fun, and it was great to watch. But we didn’t do what has brought us our success over the past two months, so we must go again against Bridlington.”