Knaresborough Town still have plenty to play for insists Simon Parkes after back-to-back losses
The Manse Lane outfit’s rise up the NCEL Premier Division standings has slowed in recent weeks after back-to-back defeats brought an end to a 10-game unbeaten run which included five league victories.
Beaten by fellow promotion hopefuls Albion Sports last time out, Boro conspired to lose a match they really ought to have won on Saturday when they entertained Bottesford Town.
The hosts missed a string of clear goal-scoring opportunities as they went down 1-0, that result leaving them eighth in the table and seven points shy of the division’s final play-off berth.
But Parkes has reminded his players that little in football is ever decided as early as February.
"Saturday was just one of those games where we could have played another full 90 and I still don’t think we’d have got the ball in the back of their net,” he said.
"But the message to the lads, who were really down in the changing room after the final whistle, was that there are still 36 points up for grabs.
"There is still a lot to play for this season and it is important that we don’t lose sight of that. We have shown how good we can be during that great run we were on until recently, and we know that we can compete with anyone in this division.
"So, if we can get on a bit of a run again and start stringing a few wins together then who knows where we can end up.
"One thing is for certain, however, and that is that we have to be a lot more ruthless than we were at the weekend if we want to be picking up points.”
Joshua Fraiwald fired Bottesford in front after 36 minutes of Saturday’s contest and Boro just couldn’t find a way to get themselves back into the contest.
"There were far too many missed opportunities,” Parkes added.
"We had a lot of chances and not taking them has cost us in the end. We knew if we had got that first goal then we’d have got two or three, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
“Bottesford defended very well and put bodies on the line, even the last kick of the game saw one of their lads make an unbelievable goal-line clearance to keep out a shot from Gregg Anderson.
"We also had a ‘goal’ wrongly ruled out with five minutes to go. On the match footage you can see that Ben Parkes is clearly onside, but somehow the linesman has given that decision.
"It’s frustrating, but football can be like that sometimes. We’ve just got to take it on the chin and make sure that we put our chances away next time.”
This Saturday, Boro host fourth-placed Rossington Main (3pm).