Knaresborough Town boss Paul Stansfield says a lack of composure in front of goal is the reason that his side’s promotion push has faltered in recent weeks.
The Manse Lane outfit spent the first half of their debut NCEL Premier Division campaign challenging at the top of the table, but a poor run of form that has seen them win just twice in 11 matches has led to them sliding down the league standings.
They were beaten 3-2 at home to Handsworth Parramore on Saturday, with Stansfield once again citing a failure to take their chances as their undoing.
“We played so well and definitely deserved something from the game but once again we weren’t quite good enough in both boxes,” he said.
“They’ve scored two absolute screamers from 25 yards out and we’ve gifted them the other with a defensive rick, but we’ve missed some great opportunities, including two one-on-ones.
“It’s become a recurring theme and it has cost us so many points over the course of this season. We’ve not been clinical enough and it’s not just the fowards, it’s all over the pitch.
“Players aren’t missing on purpose and we’ve tried to address it in training. I think that it’s a lack of composure under pressure and maybe a bit of bad luck.
“One thing that is for certain is that we need to find some composure and start putting these chances away.”
Boro took the lead against Handsworth when Sam Cook netted following a ninth-minute corner, though Waide Fairhurst then notched twice in quick succession to turn the game on its head.
Will Lenehan made it 2-2, smashing home after his initial effort came back off the bar, however Joshua Nodder’s 36th-minute strike from distance was ultimately to prove decisive.
“I asked for a reaction from the Hall Road defeat last time out and I got that. The lads have trained ever so hard and couldn’t have done much more on Saturday,” Stansfield added.
“It must have happened about 10 times this season where we’ve come up just short against the top teams.
“It’s just the way things have been going for us, but it’s been a step up in class this season.
“I’m not too concerned. Lessons will be learned and we’ve just got to keep working hard.”