Lancaster City manager Phil Brown admits he is a little flummoxed by his team’s inconsistency at the moment.
The Dolly Blues boss was left mightily frustrated on Saturday after his team went down to a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Rushall Olympic.
After winning two games on the bounce the previous week – which snapped a three-match losing streak – City went into the match at the weekend in high spirits.
However, they were unable to repeat their exploits of the previous two fixtures as a sorry first-half showing saw them concede twice.
They were unable to recover in the second half and slipped to another defeat – their second against Rushall in a matter of weeks. Brown said: “Two steps forward and then a couple of steps back is probably a good way of describing how we felt after the game on Saturday.
“After two really good results away from home, we expected a little bit more; well a lot more on Saturday.
“For whatever reason, we weren’t at it at all in the first half really – certainly the first 30 minutes.
“We were off the pace and mentally we weren’t sharp enough.
“Our intensity was not high enough and we allowed them to get a foothold in the game and they scored two goals.
“After that, it was always going to be a mountain to climb.
“I was really disappointed with the first half.
“I went in at half-time and asked for a reaction.
“We got one to be fair; we were better second half, but I don’t think we got anywhere near the level we did in our two previous games.
“It was still all a bit huff and puff.
“But the bizarre thing is we probably actually created more chances on Saturday than we did the previous Saturday when we scored four against Coalville.
“As poor as we were overall, we did have an opportunity to put pressure on Rushall by getting a goal back, but we didn’t take those opportunities.
“I think that sort of summed our day up.
“We played a Rushall team, who beat us a couple of weeks earlier.
“Like I said before the game, as poor as were in that game, they were decent.
“I thought they were okay on Saturday.
“They have a new manager, who has brought in some decent playersand they have had an upturn in results.
“You only need to look at their points tally to see that they have improved dramatically.
“So we knew that we were up against but unfortunately, we didn’t give ourselves a chance especially after the first 30 minutes of the match.”
Brown admits last weekend’s result and performance may force him into making changes for this weekend’s trip to Marine.
“For me as a manager I have got a few decisions to make in terms of the squad and the starting XI for the game against Marine.
“I do think there will be changes based around what I saw last Saturday. That’s not a knee-jerk reaction.
“It’s just decisions that you have to make as a manager.”
Marine are currently struggling at the wrong end of the table. They are third from bottom in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division and face a real battle to stave-off the threat of relegation.
“I am surprised really to see them where they are,” said Brown. “Marine are another team who have got some decent players in their squad. They have okay resources in comparison to ours.
“On their day they can cause you problems.”
Selection wise, Brown will be without striker Tom Kilifin, who has work commitments, and Ricky Mercer is a doubt with a trapped nerve in his back.