Jim Harvey was left bewildered by FC Halifax Town’s performance in the disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Aldershot.
The Shaymen came into the contest in buoyant spirits after the dramatic 3-2 triumph over Boreham Wood in midweek, producing a first half performance which Harvey claimed to be the best 45-minute spell during his time as manager in the process.
But second half goals from Jim Stevenson and the excellent Rhys Browne on Saturday ensured an out-of-sorts Town were condemned to only their second home league defeat under Harvey.
The boss said: “It was a lacklustre performance. We did not have a spark at all. I don’t know if we were still tired from Tuesday, when we were really sharp and bright and where the first half was excellent.
“Today, we didn’t get a gallop and there was no football. It was slow and deliberate. It was very poor all round. Everyone was running away from the ball.
“As I say, I don’t know whether it was down to fatigue – if so I can go along with that. But it seems that when we need to go and try to win the game we find it difficult.”
Stevenson’s opener – within a minute of the restart – left Town with a Grand National fence to jump, but they failed to significantly test visiting goalkeeper Dan Thomas until it was too late, much to Harvey’s frustration.
“We came out after half-time and, all of a sudden, our backs are right against the wall,” he said. “We wanted to get into the game and get our passing going but they got the goal and they could then shut up.
“It then created a counter-attacking game for them and, for us, I don’t think we had a shot on target that was worthwhile until possibly the very end. That was the only serious work their goalkeeper had to do.
“The rest of it was very poor.”
And although Harvey gave credit to Aldershot, who claimed only their third win in 13 away league attempts, he was left far from impressed with his own side’s decision-making.
He said: “Aldershot did well right across the board. They haven’t been at their best recently on their travels and they were obviously aware that they needed to improve away from home.
“They came here, they were focussed and they did a good job but I don’t think it was all down to them as we weren’t at it at all today.
“They didn’t really have a lot to contend with because we didn’t put them under any pressure.
“Josh (Macdonald), who was terrific in midweek, never really got at his full-back and even when he got clear in behind he could have travelled into the box but, for example, he chose to cross and it went behind the goals.
“We made bad decisions right across the park all day.”
The defeat left Town still one place and two points above the National League relegation zone after other results went in their favour.
Harvey is confident his side can beat the drop. He insisted: “We just need a couple of results with only five games to go now. Of course we can get out of it.
“To even get into this position has been tremendous but if we were jaded today then we can rest up and go again on Tuesday.
“But this was a game we needed to win. Other results may have gone our way but three points today would have helped us massively.”