Belper Town boss Charlie Palmer says he was disappointed with his side’s second-half display as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Halesowen Town on Saturday.
The Evo-Stik Premier Division side had been matched all the way by the Nailers until an 80th minute cross deceived keeper Danny Haystead and the hosts had the goal the secured them victory.
And although Palmer was happy with his side’s first half performance, he felt that standards dropped going into the second 45 minutes of the game.
He said: “In the first-half we definitely matched them and gave them a good game. We were very strong in midfield, especially Eric Graves and Mickey Armstrong who were fantastic, but we needed to be a lot stronger up top.
“In the second-half, some of the players were not keeping the standard that was helping us so much in the first half. It was a sloppy goal that we conceded but we can’t keep using that as an excuse for why we are conceding.
“The players should definitely use the other FA Cup game against Hednesford Town and the first-half against Halesowen to give them confidence going into the game against Spalding United.
“If they play the way that they have shown that they can, we should get a result.”
Belper were without Ruben Wiggins-Thomas, who has led the line for the Nailers in each of the games so far this season, and Palmer admitted they missed his presence.
He said: “We needed to be a lot better up top. I think that if we did have Ruben playing we could have won that game. Jordan Ball played well but Ruben would definitely have helped us, but we can’t use that as an excuse for why we lost.
“We’re hoping for him to be back on Tuesday. He picked the injury up against Carlton when he was fouled for the penalty. We didn’t want to risk him for the FA Cup, we need to make sure that he’s ready for the league.”
With attentions now turning to the league for the Nailers, Palmer’s side faced table-toppers Spalding United last night (Tuesday) before an away trip to Romulus on Friday night, the West Midlands side playing their games on Sutton Coldfield Town’s 3G pitch.