Buckingham Town manager Neil Griffiths has labelled his side’s 2-0 defeat at home to Rushden & Higham as “unacceptable”.
Following some recent good displays, the Robins targeted this match as a potential three points in their quest to avoid relegation from UCL Division One.
But the defeat deepens Buckingham’s woes as they are now five points behind 17th-place.
Griffiths said: “Saturday’s result was not acceptable. I have spoken a great deal about the fixtures being unkind and we were relishing this period of fixtures.
“The performance lacked the quality we have seen in recent weeks. The lads worked hard but that is the minimum we expect when they represent Buckingham Town.
“Our recent performances have raised expectation within the dressing room and Saturday is a reminder that we need produce quality on a consistent basis, not when we fancy to have a good game.
“I want to build a league-winning squad at the football club and we need players that can perform every minute of every game.
“The game itself was still one we controlled, we did not sustain any great pressure and went behind as a wind-assisted cross went in at the far post.
“We created a number of chances but failed to convert. Our penalty miss 20 minutes from time didn’t knock us back and we continued to create until a last minute breakaway saw them make the game safe.
“We cannot feel sorry for ourselves. Football is a fickle sport, a win Tuesday will soon make Saturday a distant memory.
“We need to go to Thrapston and return with the quality we know we have. The players care and as long as defeats hurts them then we will have the desire to make things turn around.”