Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves was left to lament his side being the architects of their own downfall as they lost 4-0 at Heanor Town on Saturday.
It was Hucknall’s first league defeat of the season against a side who look favourites for the title having also been unbeaten so far, the Lions now second in the table and two points behind Eastwood but with five games in hand.
And while Graves was happy to admit Heanor deserved their win, the manner of it left him a little frustrated.
He said: “Heanor do what they do very well – quickly getting the ball out to the flanks and barely playing through midfield at all. They are well drilled and it shows why they’re doing so well.
“But from our point of view too many goals came from our own mistakes which is uncharacteristic for us but meant we were architects of our own downfall.
“After the first 20 minutes we under-performed and gave the ball away needlessly on too many occasions.
“The first goal came via a direct ball forward and a couple of deflections aided them, then we’ve missed three good chances including a sitter from three yards. When that didn’t go in I think it felt like it wasn’t going to be our day.
“Our skipper made a rare mistake right on half-time as rather than play out from the back he’s hit a 30-yard pass that was intercepted and it’s then 2-0.
“We wanted to win the second-half but once the third goal went in, albeit with a strong case for handball before the lad scored it, the heads dropped.
“But I can’t be too critical because in the grand scheme of things that’s a very rare defeat for us and we remain in a great position.”
Graves was quick to talk down those who felt the Yellows’ title chances had been blown by the result, largely because he feels that expectation was too high anyway.
He said: “People go on about us winning the title and so on but there were never any aspirations of winning the title, it was always a case of seeing how things went and see where we are.
“This result won’t define the season so there’s no panic, we just have to pick ourselves up for another tough game at home to Radford on Saturday who are picking up some good results.
“We were never going to go unbeaten this season but in the end we lost because a good side pounced on mistakes.”