A 4-0 setback at bottom side Peterborough Sports brought the Belper Town revival crashing back to earth and confirmed new boss Aaron Webster’s belief that there is still much work to do there.
The Nailers had just won two on the bounce, though were rocked in the week leading up to the game by losing star keeper Danny Roberts to Leek Town and then learning key defender Jon Guy had broken his jaw.
But Webster said, even if that pair had played, the way his side started on Saturday would have seen them beaten anyway.
“I think everyone thought the corner had been turned after winning two games and the way we played at Chesterfield,” he said.
“But Saturday’s result reaffirmed to me that we’ve still got a long way to go. We are getting better but there is still plenty of work to do.
“We didn’t turn up so we didn’t deserve to get anything out of the game.
“Maybe it was the conditions, maybe there was a bit of complacency. You look at the results in our league in the last couple of months, it’s so topsy-turvy and up and down.
“It’s unpredictable. You could never put an accumulator on this league.”
He continued: “It didn’t help starting badly against a team that are fighting for their lives. We were 2-0 down in eight minutes.
“It’s going to give them confidence and that’s what I didn’t want to do.
“Yes, there was a lot of the game still to go but you give yourself an impossible task to try to get that back, whichever end of the table the opposition are.
“I told the players before the game that Peterborough would scrap and fight for everything. I said if you let them have any inkling that they are in the game it’s going to be very tough.
“It was up to us to start the game in commanding fashion so we could get into their low confidence with them being bottom.
“But we just didn’t grasp the game from the kick-off and gave them the incentive.”
Webster threw 17-year-old Burton Albion keeper Jack Livesey into a debut and he was culpable for two of the goals with an error and a conceded penalty, though otherwise did well.
“I think he will learn a lot from that game. He is intelligent enough and has an old head on a young set of shoulders,” said Webster.
“It was a baptism of fire for him and he was not helped by the lads in front of him.
“We threw him in straight away as I believe in him. He made some good saves too. He is a good player that is only going to get better.”
The manager added: “It’s been a long week. We had to try try to get people in quick when we knew we had two experienced lads that would not be available with Danny leaving to go to Leek and Jon now out for up to 12 weeks.
“But I thought we were in confident mood with how we’d played in the three previous games.
“We did miss them. But if your team is not willing to fight and match someone who is at the bottom of the table, we wouldn’t have won with Danny and Jon in anyway.
“It wasn’t a great pitch and it was windy and raining – you have got to be up for those games.”
Webster said it was unlikely he would bring any new faces in before Saturday’s visit of Loughborough Dynamo, who are one place below 11th-placed Belper in the Evo-Stik NPL South table.
“I am speaking to a couple of people but the seven day rule doesn’t help as, if you put in seven days for someone on a Monday, you have to wait until the following Monday to speak,” said Webster.
“There is always the option of loans from clubs but I am a believer of giving a chance to players we already have here.
“So I think we will end up going with what we have, though if someone could come in and help then fair enough.”