Andy Peaks was left to reflect on “a tough week” after AFC Rushden & Diamonds slipped to a second defeat in a row.
Having suffered a 1-0 home loss to Hayes & Yeading United last Tuesday, Diamonds were beaten again as they went down 2-1 at another of the Evo-Stik South League East promotion challengers Hartley Wintney.
Diamonds took an early lead through Ben Farrell but the hosts levelled before the break with a second-half penalty being enough to secure the victory.
The defeat means Diamonds’ lead at the top is now down to just two points, although they still have two games in hand on second-placed Hayes.
The first of those is on Tuesday night when they take on Uxbridge at Hayden Road.
And Peaks insists his team must “get over” their difficult few days and bounce back in midweek.
“We were not good enough in the first half and 1-1 flattered us to be honest,” the Diamonds boss said.
“We were a lot better in the second half, we did give away the penalty but after that we dominated the game and created chances but couldn’t find the goal we needed. It’s fine margins.
“It’s been a tough week. We have played two good teams and we haven’t got any points so it is disappointing and frustrating.
“We are still in a fantastic position and we must remember that. I was never kidding myself because we still had some tough games to play and that remains the case.
“We have come up a bit short in the last week but now we have to get over it.
“We have to stick to our beliefs and we will and we will do all we can to make sure we bounce back on Tuesday.”