Dropped points were a missed opportunity says Belper boss

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After conceding a late equaliser for the second successive game, Belper Town boss Charlie Palmer has told his players it has been a missed opportunity.

After allowing Carlton Town a late equaliser in their previous 1-1 draw at home, the Nailors slipped up at Northwich Victoria on Sunday, conceding with nine minutes to go and leaving them 10th when the lost four points would have put them sixth.

Palmer is now threatening to make changes ahead of Saturday’s visit of Romulus and said: “What is disappointing is that in our last two games we had aspirations of being there or thereabouts in the play-off positions, but we are making silly mistakes and not seeing out games.

“It is four points dropped in the Carlton and Northwich games. With that four points on the board it would look a whole lot rosier.

“I am not here to criticise or label players, but some of them are not learning from the mistakes. If it continues then the opportunity is going to be missed.

“It’s my job to address that, so training sessions this week will be tough and we will be focused on getting a result against Romulus. I will also be looking to get some major players fully fit.

“I am looking at doing two good training sessions this week to give the injured players an opportunity to declare themselves fit and hopefully I can name a strong XI to go and get a positive result against Romulus.

“Football is a funny game and, all of a sudden, if we can get a result against Romulus you are looking at the other side of the argument and a draw away at Northwich, followed by three points against Romulus and you’ve had a decent week.

“But we haven’t got those three points yet and we’ve got to work hard in training.”

Palmer was furious that last weekend’s game was switched to a Sunday when he knew he would be left short on players.

Northwich groundshare with landlords Witton Albion, but because Witton overcame Boston United in an FA Trophy replay on Tuesday night, their home tie in the next round against Chester took priority on Saturday.

“I wasn’t happy that we had to play the game on a Sunday,” he said.

“I was fully aware if the game went ahead on a Sunday we’d have numerous players unavailable.

“But I am not going to use that as an excuse as I still put out a team that should have won the game.

“It was disappointing. We had our fair share of possession first half, created chances and scored a very good goal after inter-play from the three front men.”

He added: “I told them at half-time that at 1-0 it was an opportunity for us to get three points, but we needed to get the second goal.

“When you don’t take your chances and people are not switched on at the back, there is always going to be the possibility of someone making a mistake or trying to do something they shouldn’t do which, all of a sudden, puts us in a difficult situation. Someone tries to over-play and we’ve been punished.

“I’ve seen it in the last two games and I can’t keep on talking about. I’ve got to make some changes to try to ensure that people fully understand it won’t be tolerated. If you are not going to learn you are going to miss out.”

Belper lost 2-1 at Romulus back in September and Romulus spanked Loughborough Dynamo 5-1 last weekend and sit 11th on equal points with Belper.

“We should have got something from there, but we made a mistake and they beat us,” said Palmer.

“As I look at it, we owe them one. They had a good result on Saturday, but on our day we are a good side.

“Yet in this league anybody can beat anybody and you can’t afford to take anyone for granted.”