Harrogate Town 'nowhere near good enough' during defeat to Colchester United, blasts Josh Falkingham
Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham slammed his side's performance at Colchester United on Saturday, insisting that the Sulphurites deserved to finish up empty-handed.
Sylvester Jasper's 88th-minute strike settled a fairly dour encounter in Essex, condemning the Wetherby Road outfit to just their second defeat in 12 League Two outings this term.
Second in the table and coming off the back of a 6-1 demolition of Scunthorpe last time out, Town will doubtless have fancied their chances at the Colchester Community Stadium, particularly given that the U's had taken just a single point from their last four league matches and failed to score even once in the process.
But, they never really got out of second gear and, after Lloyd Kerry crashed their one clear opening of the afternoon against the cross-bar, they were stung on the counter-attack late on.
"We were nowhere near good enough today. We never really got going at any point and fully deserved not to come away with anything," Falkingham reflected.
"We were nowhere near being up to the standards that we've set at the start of this season. The lads are really disappointed in the changing room because we haven't given a full account of ourselves and we've come away with nothing, which is what we deserved.
"We fell short in every area. We never really passed the ball, never put balls into good areas, never got ourselves up the pitch, never really put our stamp on the game and apart from Will Smith - who won all his headers - we never won enough first or second balls.
"You're giving yourself an uphill battle in this league if you're not doing any of these things, it doesn't matter who you're playing. Whether you're playing a top team or a team near the bottom, if you're not on it in League Two then you're not getting anything, it is as simple as that. We learned that last season, it is the nature of the beast."
A fairly uneventful contest opened up somewhat during the latter stages, with Colchester making an effort to try and force the issue as Town struggled to assert any real control over proceedings.
And this fact angered Falkingham, who felt that the visitors should have been able to grind out a point despite not being anywhere near their best.
"We never wanted the game to get like that. We allowed it to become a game that was won and lost in 20 minutes. We never play like that, it's not us," the 31-year-old former Leeds United midfielder added.
"Today is a big mistake from us all because we've learned lessons like that in the past that in tight games, going away with a point is a positive.
"We have done it this season when we haven't been at our best but we have took something from the game. Today, we weren't at it, but we had the opportunity to take away a point, but we caused our own downfall."
Town remain second in the League Two standings despite Saturday's loss, but missed the chance to open up a four-point gap between themselves and third-placed Port Vale.