Brian Richardson was dealt his first defeat as Bootle manager after they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Widnes.
It brought to an end the three-game winning streak, two of which since Richardson took over, as they were brought back down to earth following the comfortable 5-0 win over Ramsbottom on Saturday.
For Richardson it was a disappointing collapse in what has been a positive start to his tenure as he rued “sloppy” play from his Bucks side.
Dave Dempsey’s Widnes were quick to pounce on the Bootle mishaps and found great reward from Jordan Southworth, Sam Adetiloye and John McGrath.
Despite the fact the scoreline flattering the visitors, Richardson was happy with his side’s resilience not to fall to a heavier scoreline.
“Truth be known, they should’ve won by more. W/e couldn’t of complained if they’d of beat us 5-0 which was like a turn around from Saturday from us and on the receiving end of it.
“I felt our passing was really poor and turning over the ball over in bad areas they just sat in and hit us on the counter when they had to. They created more chances playing that way than we did with more of the ball so fair play to them they got the win, we can’t complain.
“The performance was poor we looked toothless up front and that wasn’t down to the men up front, that was down to the service from behind, the midfield and defence sitting too deep.
“It doesn’t all just stand with one position, footballs one of them games you’ve got to have unity through the team and if the teams moving fluidity you’ve got a chance of finishing things off but there was none of that at all, a bit sloppy.
“When they scored I thought we were having our best spell really for possession then the gown seemed to unhinge us a little bit and we got quite sloppy.
“But credit to the boys, they didn’t stop working and like I said you have to work twice as hard because you’ve been given the ball cheap, look after the ball better you won’t have to work as hard and let them do the running, simple as that, it’s not complicated if you keep the ball they can’t score.
“The teams who do the basics well will always do okay but sometimes you’re looking for a team who can do a little bit more than the basics well, express themselves and get people wanting to come and watch. I want to see good football, exciting football and last night I can’t even think we got close to either of them.
“You’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to do as much as you can on the training ground, you’ve got to give them belief, confidence, some of the passing we’ve got to get them fitter because you’ve got to be able to work up and down the park better. There’s a lot of things you can’t do in a fortnight.
“Sometimes you have to tweak things up, bring one or two players in who might be more on your wavelength when it comes to what you’re looking for and nobody knows that because it’s early days we’ve had a few coming and going.
“The teams had three wins on the spin, I don’t think Widnes have much difference in points than we do it’s not what you call a bigger test in terms of who you’re playing, certainly not a top-five test but I think players have got to realise anyone in this league on their day can be dangerous and they can turn you over, if you’re not there or mentally at it or coming through the door prepared, you can lose games easily.
“The positive for me was the team never threw it in and that’s the positive for me. We certainly had one player who reached the standard that we require and if you say one player out of 10 reach the stand we require then we’re saying only 10 per cent of us who turn up.
“You’ll never win a game of football if 10 per cent turn up we need seven, eight, nine if you’re going to win games. So I would say the lads will have a look at themselves over the next couple of days and say unacceptable and try put it right for Saturday.”