Boss Dave Frecklington has written off Spalding United’s title chances by admitting: “We’re not good enough yet!”
He accused the Tulips squad of being mentally weak after throwing away a 1-0 lead against 10-man AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday night.
Spalding missed a golden chance to return to the top of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South as two late goals sent them crashing to a second successive home defeat.
Frecklington said: “I still can’t believe how we lost that game.
“Again we didn’t take our chances and we have a mental blip when teams go down to 10 men.
“It has happened too many times now so that’s something we have to address as a management team.
“We dominated the game and thought we had weathered a storm but in the end Diamonds were celebrating like they had already won the league.
“We’ll take that on board when we go there but it shows how far we’ve progressed from August to November that they celebrate like that against us.
“We must have been doing something right but that was a massive missed opportunity.
“We were 1-0 up against 10 men and the equaliser came from a break following our corner.
We were mentally weak. I know that’s a big statement to make but we can’t keep conceding goals and gifting points.Dave Frecklington
“We were mentally weak. I know that’s a big statement to make but we can’t keep conceding goals and gifting points.
“We have experience in our team but at 1-1 we lost two headers in our own box and they scored again.
“It’s very disappointing to lose a game which we had absolutely dominated.”
Frecklington is expecting “a good response” when Spalding face third-placed Newcastle Town at the Sir Halley Stewart Field on Saturday.
He added: “We’ll see what we are all about.
“We’ve lost back-to-back games at home which is really disappointing because I always like to have a good home record.
“We lost by the odd goal to two teams - Leek Town and Diamonds - who you would fancy to be around the top of the table.
“Unfortunately, we are not going to win the league playing like that.
“We scored from a set-piece but we can’t give a lift to other teams.
“You can write off the title. I told the lads to not even think about winning it because we are not good enough yet.
“That’s the honest truth. If it happens once then it’s a blip but we keep giving away leads and that’s just criminal.
“We have chucked away so many points in a short space of time and that doesn’t win leagues.
“I thought our overall performance on Tuesday night was great. We were the better team.
“Diamonds didn’t get behind us but we have got to take our chances.
“Credit to them but how we lost that game is something we must address in terms of the mentality of the team.
“We played well, asked questions and created chances. Their keeper made a couple of great saves.
“I’d never question our effort and attitude but if you don’t take your chances at this level then you are going to get punished.
“We created chance after chance - just like on Saturday at Romulus.
“We’ve won by the odd goal and lost by the odd goal. Instead of having a plus-four goal-difference over two games, we’ve got three points and that’s really frustrating.
“The positives are that we created chances. But we conceded sloppy goals against 10 men.
“Saturday is a different game at home and I expect a response.
“We need to take points off teams in and around us instead of just beating sides in the bottom half. At home to Leek and Diamonds, we’ve fallen short.”