Manager Courtney Belford admitted he was proud of elements of the way his Hinckley AFC side played at Uttoxeter Town, but frustrated with the way they conceded goals to lose 3-2.
AFC raced into a two-goal lead at Oldfields courtesy of Danny Harris and Lewis Commins, but Uttoxeter hit back to take all three points in a game heavily affected by the wind and the pitch.
And after one point from the last three games, Belford admitted that his aim for the season is starting to slip away. He said: “We were looking at the top four, even though we knew it would be a tall order. But while it’s on offer you’ve got to try and go for it even though we know this is a long-term project here.
“To concede three goals from three shots on target is very frustrating. It was a real kick in the teeth.
“We shouldn’t have to keep scoring three, four or five goals to win a game of football.”
Of the goalkeeper, defenders and central midfielders, Ryan Ball was the second oldest at 23. Belford says while that’s exciting, he’d like to add an experienced head to help the younger players develop.
“Defensively we’ve been poor for the last couple of weeks and perhaps that’s naivety in going with such a young back five, with Elliott and the four in front of him.
“You want to keep faith with lads who did well in January but we might need to look at bringing an experienced body or two in to complement and develop the younger lads.
“But I took pride in the fact that we took a very young side to Uttoxeter and came really close to taking something from the game.
“We’ve got some very good young players like Reece Giles, who’s come into the team and not been phased by anything. I love working with him and if we can help bring those sorts of players on then the future is bright.”