Blyth Spartans manager Lee Clark believes his side matched Boston United, however was ultimately left disappointed after letting their standards set in recent weeks slip.
Spartans’ five-game unbeaten National League North run was ended by the Pilgrims on Tuesday evening in a narrow 2-0 win for the fifth-placed side.
It was also the first time Clark’s men failed to find the net since mid-September during the defeat at Southport.
“I don’t think there was anything between the teams,” said Clark. “I don’t think they were any superior to us and they reached 5th in the league last night – that’s not being disrespectful to them.
“In terms of the quality of the two sides, I didn’t see us get run ragged – we more than competed. I thought we played some decent football but just lacked that cutting edge.
“We didn’t start either half well, which was a disappointing aspect of last night. It was frustrating as we give away two really poor goals.
“We’re disappointed with the result because of the way we had been going and the run we were on.
“We felt we didn’t put in a Blyth performance that we had produced in the last few weeks. We felt it was an OK performance – but we don’t want OK anymore.
“We had that poor start to the season but we’ve made ourselves a different team and different proposition to our opponents.
“It is tinged with a little bit of disappointment and frustration but it will be at times because we are changing the squad around so much.”
Clark admitted he felt his team was left a little bit light for the long trip to the Jakemans Stadium with Robbie Dale (head), Tom Devitt (dead leg), Adam Wrightson (hamstring) were injured.
The former Newcastle United midfielder was also keen to allude to the differences from the start of the season to now, although is desperate for his players to deliver more on the field.
He added: “We’re limiting ourselves to very few numbers because we are bringing in quality rather than quantity now. When we’re missing players, it leaves us short at times.
“That’s the inevitability for us but we just have to make sure the injuries are to a minimum.
“The team that started the season in wasn’t a reflection of me or Paul. It wasn’t a reflection of what I wanted for the club. The standards were nowhere good enough.
“We’ve raised those standards but we’re still not 100%. We’ve got ¾ there with the recruitment we have made but there are still one or two areas we need to improve on.
“We’re still just looking for those final pieces. We’re missing Tom (Devitt), Robbie (Dale), Adam (Wrightson) – those players are important players for us.
“We just have to try and regroup and refocus and get those lads back for Saturday.
“I said when we started our FA Cup campaign, the FA Trophy and Northumberland Senior Cup are important and we want to be successful.
“Hopefully we get the chance to put our strongest side out.”