Matlock Town boss Mark Hume has emphasised the importance of a positive start in games in the aftermath of Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Workington.
The promotion-chasing Reds were gifted a second minute goal which in the final analysis was crucial, and try as they did during a largely one-sided second-half, Matlock could not repair the damage.
For the third match in succession, Hume’s men conceded the opening goal and in every instance the opposition was not made to work too hard to find the net.
The Matlock boss said: “The goal was unfortunate as it was a bit of a mix-up and Jon Kennedy has held his hands up so it was a shame.
“But in that opening 15 minutes we hadn’t set off right and while over the 90 minutes I thought we were the better side, our bad start cost us.
“Our ground staff have done a marvellous job with the pitch , they’ve done their absolute best in trying to get it right but Workington played to the pitch in those first 15 to 20 minutes and were better than us.
“We need to ensure we’re at it from the start, everyone must be positive and do their jobs and that means winning their battles.”
Hume insisted there were still positives to take from the defeat.
“We created chances and kept things relatively tight,” he said.
“We’re a hard side to break down and on reflection while I don’t think we deserved the win, a point would have been fair and we’d have been happy with that, as I suspect Workington would have been.”
Attention quickly turned to Wednesday’s (18th) trip to Whitby Town before Matlock are on the road once again at third-placed Ashton United on Saturday.
In a massively tight relegation scrap after the weekend fixtures, just six points separate 14th-placed Whitby from 21st-placed Frickley Athletic who presently occupy the top relegation slot.
Hume added: “We’ve got some tough games coming up and the lads now need to show everyone that we can stand up against the leading sides.
“We’ve beaten mid-table teams and those down near the bottom, now we need to prove we can beat the top sides as we did when we won at Skelmersdale who were top at the time.
“It’s really tight down there at present and we shouldn’t be deceived as if we hadn’t had that great run we wouldn’t have had a cat in hell’s chance of staying in the division.
“It’s up to us now, it’s about what we do and I’ll be stressing that to the players.”
A damaged coccyx kept full back Oscar Radford out of the Workington clash, player assistant boss Scott Maxfield deputiSing.
“It’s touch and go as to whether he’ll be ready for Whitby or Ashton,” said Hume.
“But Maxi came in and did a fantastic job , showing great quality on the ball, and we only brought him off to send on another attacker against ten men.”
Hume has also drafted in midfielder Liam Gaughan from Retford United. Hume had a short spell playing alongside Gaughan for Retford after leaving Bradford Park Avenue and was keen to bring him back for a second spell with the Gladiators.
He said: “He’s hungry to get playing at a decent level, he’s bright and enthusiastic, so you don’t turn that kind of attitude away.”
For a report from Wednesday night’s game at Whitby Town, visit www.matlockmercury.co.uk.