Marcus Law felt some “horrendous mistakes” cost Kettering Town as they were condemned to their first away defeat of the season in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.
The Poppies were soundly beaten 4-1 at Banbury United as their poor recent form continued.
Law’s team have now taken just four points from their last four matches and, having been clear at the top at one stage, they now sit four points behind leaders Stourbridge although Kettering still have three games in hand.
But the way the Poppies surrendered is giving Law cause for serious concern as they approach the Christmas period and a congested fixture programme in January - a month that could be decisive in the battle for the sole automatic promotion place.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time, Kettering did draw level after the break thanks to a Dan Holman penalty.
But the Poppies collapsed after that with Law furious with the “individual errors” his team made.
“We made errors and they maximised it, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure,” the Poppies boss, who confirmed the signing of striker Adam Cunnington ahead of the game, said.
“We should have been happy when we got the game back to 1-1 and there should have been an opportunity to go on and win the game but instead we allowed it to get away from us.
“We have conceded four goals and they have all come from individual errors.
“Three of those goals are ones I wouldn’t expect a team battling at the bottom of the division to concede, let alone a team who wants to be challenging for the title.
“We have to look at this closely and then make the relative decisions.
“They were very difficult conditions and Banbury played them far better than us.
“There was a lot of gamesmanship to frustrate us but the way we conceded the goals was extremely disappointing.
“Paul White has made a good save and then we have allowed them to score from the corner.
“We came out in the second half and I thought we warranted the equaliser and we were certainly in the ascendency.
“But from there, some horrendous mistakes have cost us.
“To give a corner away from the halfway line was questionable and then not to deal with the corner is questionable again.
“The decision making from a number of players wasn’t good enough and it’s something that we must address.”
The Poppies are back on home soil for their final game before Christmas next weekend when they take on Hitchin Town at Latimer Park.