Bradford Park Avenue manager Mark Bower said he has never seen anything like his side’s collapse in Tuesday’s defeat at Spennymoor.
Avenue were well on top in the game at Brewery Field before three goals in four minutes saw recently-promoted Spennymoor take all three points.
Bradford had missed a number of chances before, and Bower said he could not believe what he saw.
“For 35 minutes, it was the best we’ve played since I’ve been at the club,” the Avenue boss said.
“We were completely controlling the game, making numerous chances, they’ve barely got into our half, and then I’ve never seen anything like it in football.
“We get a touch unlucky with the first goal how the cross deflects straight into the centre forward’s path.
“Second one there is a blatant handball in the lead up to it, but as soon as we get a setback in games we seem to be panicking.
“We have invited pressure on ourselves, and obviously failed to deal with three balls into our box.
“But we just couldn’t believe it, and neither could Spennymoor – I had two of their players apologise to me after the game for beating us like that.
“The second half was more even as you’d expect but we have to start taking our chances.
“But we do seem to be getting a bit unlucky, that’s summed up by Adam Boyes’ chance in the second half where it spins up off the keeper and hits the bar rather than falling our way.
“But fair play to the lads they kept going and kept working hard, no-one threw in the towel or anything like that, and we came off the pitch with a completely different feeling to the York game.
“You would not have thought we’d lost that game 3-0, but we have and you’ve got to stop making the same mistakes. You can play as well as you want for 87 minutes but have three or four minutes like that and you’ll lose.”
Despite the result, Bower was happy with his side’s performance and improvement on the poor showing in last Saturday’s 5-0 loss to York City.
“I think everyone can see how well we played,” he said.
“You can see what we’re capable of, and have done in other games too, but in both boxes we’ve just not been good enough so far this season.
“There is a lot of good things going on in between but as soon as the ball’s in either penalty box we seem to be struggling.
“We are getting a bit unlucky as I said too, some things just aren’t falling our way, but you make your own luck at times and we have to keep working.
“It’s still early in the season and we’ve played four teams who are probably going to be in the top half of the table, but we’ve got to start being more ruthless at both ends of the pitch if we want to start picking up points.”
Avenue host FC United of Manchester on Saturday, a side who picked up their first point of the season in the week, and Bower said his side need some points to restart their season.
“There’s always a good chance to turn things round and we’ve got that opportunity on Saturday,” the Avenue manager said.
“Whoever you play there’s always a chance to pick up points, on Tuesday night we should have got at the very least a point – and we’d probably have been disappointed with that.
“But the next game is always the chance to get back going again, and we know just how much difference a couple of wins can make.
“We just need that to get us going again, there’s plenty of positives from the performance on Tuesday which suggests that we can go again and get three points.”
With Nicky Wroe, Shane Killock and Adam Nowakowski all out injured, Bradford were dealt another blow when half-time substitute Nicky Boshell went off just 12 minutes after his introduction.
“Nicky just pulled up with a hamstring injury so we will have to see how that is,” Bower said.
“We’ve got Adam Nowakowski out too with concussion, Nicky Wroe with his groin and obviously Javan is suspended.
“Not much is going for us at the minute, little things like that that can either go for you or go against you.
“But you saw with the lads that came on, Lee (Knight) and Cameron (Lyn), they had a positive impact and we might have to look to them on Saturday to do a job for us.”