Belper Town manager Grant Black labelled his side’s 2-0 defeat at Loughborough Dynamo as the “worst” performance since his arrival at the club last summer.
Goals in each half from Karl Demidh and Ryan Robbins saw the Nailers leave the ADT Taxis stadium empty handed, ending their unbeaten league run of five matches.
Black said: “I just thought they looked quicker, sharper, stronger all over the park. Fair play to them but we were really, really below par and it’s probably the worst we have been since I have been here in my opinion.”
The game was played in treacherous weather conditions and strong winds were apparent throughout the 90 minutes. Despite having the wind behind their backs in the first half, the Nailers struggled to create many clear-cut chances.
Striker Danny South came the closest for Belper, as his acrobatic over-head kick flew just wide of goalkeeper Charlie Taylor’s goal.
Black wasn’t afraid to express his disappointment at his side’s performance but refused to blame it on the conditions: “I don’t think so, it’s the old cliché where it’s the same for both sides,” he said.
“They managed it one half, we didn’t play how we should have played when we had wind and in the second half when we were against the wind, we didn’t play how we should have played. They played the conditions well.”
In contrast to the visitors, Loughborough created a number of chances throughout the afternoon, mainly due to the dynamic attacking duo of Robbins and Demidh. Black believes his side were lucky to escape with just a 2-0 defeat.
He said: “The score line flattered us. If it would have been six, I don’t think we could have had any complaints. We just looked like we were carrying six or seven players today, which at this level you cannot afford to do.”
Belper boss Black also rejected the idea that his team’s Tuesday night’s cup exploits at Farsley earlier in the week played a part in their lacklustre performance.
He said: “I think that’s looking for excuses for some of the players today. For me they should able to do Tuesday, Saturday. We didn’t train, but as a player, which I have been, you look for excuses. Tired legs are one that we have heard in there, but it is not one that washes with me.”
The Nailers now have a two-week break before the next Evo-Stik East division fixture as they host Pickering Town, where they will be looking to get back on track ahead of the final month of the season.