Billy Heath lamented his FC Halifax Town side’s “individual mistakes” as Tranmere Rovers eased to an impressive 4-2 victory over the Shaymen.
It was Rovers’ second October triumph over Town after they progressed into the first round proper of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win at The Shay earlier in the month.
Another star showing from Micky Mellon’s men, including an eye-catching early double from James Norwood, ensured Halifax’s winless run in all competitions was extended to seven matches.
After this latest defeat, Heath said: “We had a really poor start and that is the last thing you want coming here.
“We got ourselves back into the game in the second half but 30 seconds later the game was finished.
“We have got to get back to where we were and stop teams playing from the start, which we were very good at. We have got to get back to that very, very quickly.
“If that means playing the most hardworking players, if that means playing players who are destructive and ugly then that is what we will do.
“Teams aren’t having to do a lot against us. Every single goal today was an individual mistake.
“Teams aren’t having to do a massive amount for us to concede a goal, which is totally the flip side of the start to the season when we didn’t concede a goal in the first five away games.
“Players have got to work hard and make sure they stop the player they are playing against doing the things they want to do. We are too open and we are too free at the minute and we are letting the opposition have an easy ride.
“That is what we have got to rectify. We have got to go back to being ugly and getting players onto the pitch who want to stop opposition players from playing.”
Tranmere’s lively first half showing was only rewarded with Norwood’s two goals and Town responded brightly at the start of the second period with Matty Brown’s third headed goal of the season after 52 minutes giving Heath’s men hope.
However, their joy was short-lived as Rovers debutant Larnell Cole quickly restored the home side’s two-goal lead, much to Heath’s frustration.
“That is us in a nutshell. At the start of the game, we always thought that with a big crowd it can work for you and it can work against you. We said that we wanted to keep the crowd quiet but we found ourselves 2-0 down inside 14 minutes.
“At half-time I told the players to have a go. Let’s go and try and be a bit more ruthless in our play.
“We swapped it around and we got the goal but instead of seeing it out and having a five minute spell where we should have settled down again, we let them straight back in. Literally from the kick-off, we let them straight back in.
”When Browny scored seven minutes into the second half, you could see on the Tranmere players’ faces that they were thinking ’We weren’t expecting that, we were cruising’, but we were just naïve.”
One of the few positives that Heath could take out of the game was the second half performance of debutant Daniel Batty, who joined the club on a one month loan deal from Hull City.
Heath now wants his players to be more disciplined in their next league game against Woking on Saturday, November11.
He said:”“Dan did well. We put him in the hole where he can play and he did so well in the second half. He can play as a number 4 or a number 8.
“He is intelligent and he has got mobility.
“For the team it is now about being disciplined, it is about staying with runners, it is about stopping the opposition from playing and it is about working hard – that is what we were very good at a short while ago.
“We seem like we want to express ourselves first but we are in a league where we know what we are. We have got to stop other teams from playing first and foremost. We need to be solid and we need to be strong.
“Now we will find out who has got the heart for it.”