Marine manager Neil Young rued mistakes as his side slipped to defeat against Leek Town but highlighted the importance of the Ramsbottom clash.
The league leaders saw their winning run slip away to the hands of the playoff contenders in adverse weather conditions as Leek made it eight goals conceded in the last three for the Mariners.
Uncharacteristic mistakes contributed to the defeat but as they pulled a goal back through Lewis Reilly, they suffered an immediate sucker punch as Tom Grice added his second for the hosts.
Despite the defeat, they maintained their spot at the top of the Northern Premier League West as Warrington Rylands continued their pressure whilst a mid-week draw for Workington saw them halve the deficit to just one point.
“I thought generally the game was difficult, if you speak to most managers about the weekend the conditions were difficult,” he told Off The Park.
“A lot of injuries, but it is what it is, I thought generally we were okay in the game but we’ve caused our own downfall, we’ve made mistakes which is not like us.
“When you haven’t got the consistency team-wise, at some stage you’re going to make mistakes and unfortunately that happened to us on Saturday.
“Uncharacteristic for us, we conceded eight goals in three games so we know we have to put a stop to that, work hard in training to get our positivity, confidence back because we’re not far away.
“As I say, there was errors in the game but in terms of the game itself we probably edged it ourselves in terms of chances, general play, they’re a good side away from home. But if you make mistakes and keep letting them in, goals change games and that’s what happened on Saturday.”
And with the mistakes from his shot-stopper, the former Chester boss sympathised with the ‘keepers mistakes but acknowledged key involvements throughout the season, he added: “You talk about mistakes, lads make them but go back and look at games where lads have kept us in games, tackles or in Saturday’s case Bayleigh’s [Passant] had a day to forget but on numerous times he’s kept us in it.
“It’s swings and roundabouts, you’ve got to accept that. Build the lads confidence up and we go again in the next game.
“Apart from the mistakes, goals change games and instead of getting a foothold, we concede. We got back to 2-1, we concede straight away that changed the mindset of the opposition, changes the mindset of us.
“Once it went 2-1 I thought we were in the ascendancy, it’s changed the face of the game but there wasn’t much in it, it is what it is we lost a game against a decent side and we’ve got to move on. “
With Marine having a point advantage at the top of the table, Young still won’t be drawn into the title talk but reaffirmed the importance of the remaining fixtures.
“The next game is always the opportunity to put things right, it was a fantastic result for Bootle in terms of the trip – it’s difficult to get up there on a normal evening – but when you’ve had the M6 shut and all the issues they’ve had, looks like they’ve had injuries or lads who can’t commit with work to go up there and get a result is fantastic.
“That’s the nature of the league at the moment, you can’t take anyone lightly and think ‘ah yeah three points we’ll move on’ you’ve got to put a lot of effort in and work into the game to make sure we get three points.
“We’re top of the league, a long way to go, but I’d rather be where we are than where anyone else is, it means nothing at the moment. It means we’ve done well for the first 16 games, we’ve got to do well for the next 22.”
Ramsbottom begins a run of four home games for the Mariners as they look to regain their hold at the top of the table.
Although with his experience, Young isn’t looking past the next game and has ruled out home advantage but has sought assurance from the defeat after the disappointment against Leek “hit home” for his squad.
“Probably one of our better hour’s [this season] at their place,” he continued. “I thought we were excellent for an hour, we pressed them, got our goals probably should’ve had more than what it was but last half an hour they done well.
“So football results in this league, you only have to go through them Mossley were flying high, 3-0 up and get beat 7-3 it’s a strange old league and if you take anyone lightly you’ll get turned over. That’s the key point from us, we need to make sure right the wrongs of last Saturday and the only way to do that is by going out, performing and winning football matches.
“Every game now, we’ve got four games at home [coming uo] but every game is going to be key for every team, if anyone can put a run together from fifth, sixth position they’ll have a chance because every game is going to be key.
“You only need to look at Ramsbottom, Runcorn – who are flying doing well, Newcastle – made good signings and they’ve improved massively, Bootle’s a Derby and you see what they done at Workington last night so there’s no game you’re going to go in [and win easily] that’s the same across the league not just our games but everyone else’s.
“We’ve just need to concentrate on Ramsbottom try and get three points there then move onto the next one. Just because we’ve got four home games, doesn’t mean we’re going to get four victories, we’re going to have to fight and work very hard because they’re now starting to realise we are a scalp, however we look at it, we don’t want to be seen as that.
“Probably because of what we did last year in terms of the Tottenham game, if you see the celebrations from Leek after the game is how much it meant for them to beat us so I think that’s hit home to the players on Saturday.”