St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke had no complaints following a first defeat of 2019.
His side saw a four-match unbeaten run come to an end when beaten 1-0 at play-off contenders Biggleswade Town in the Southern League Premier Division Central yesterday.
The Bedfordshire hosts claimed the only goal four minutes into the second half to complete an identical double over Saints after also triumphing 1-0 at Westwood Road in the reverse fixture back in October.
Jake Newman failed to take two early chances for Marheineke’s men before Ben Baker and Ben Seymour-Shove – the latter making his 200th appearance for the club – were denied either side of the break.
And captain Robbie Parker then fired over in the dying moments when presented with a chance to hit a dramatic equaliser against his former club, but Marheineke was the first to admit that finding the net at that stage would have been unjust.
He said: “I don’t think we deserved anything out of the game and it would have been a smash and grab had we got a draw.
“I’m disappointed with the performance we produced on a day when we didn’t win enough of the personal battles, 50-50 tackles or second balls.
“Those things are out bread and butter and we’ve been doing them well lately while on a very good run, but we got bullied out of it in many ways by Biggleswade.”
Saints now turn their attention to a run of three successive fixtures against sides sitting below them in the Premier Division Central standings.
They host Hitchin this Saturday before going to Halesowen on January 19 and Barwell the following Tuesday.
Marheineke added: “We reacted well to our last defeat – at Hitchin before Christmas – with a run of four positive results and the challenge to the players now is to bounce back from losing at Biggleswade.
“It has been so hectic lately, with six games in two-and-a-half weeks over the festive period and into January, and we haven’t been able to get onto the training pitch.
“But we’ll be working hard Tuesday and Thursday to make sure we’re prepared as well as possible for the next run of games.”
Marheineke has given up hope of extending the loan stay of Peterborough United youngster Sam Cartwright. He may now consider attempting to bring in a new defensive recruit.