Hebburn Town assistant manager Mick Mulhern said that he was “bitterly disappointed” with the defeat to fellow Northern League title challengers Stockton Town but insists the match “wasn’t going to win or lose the season.”
He has also called for his side to show another “great response” to a bad result when they face Liverpool based side Lower Breck in the FA Vase next weekend.
Stockton ran out 3-1 winners at home to close the gap at the top to three points, the Anchors still having three games in hand.
The sides headed into the break level with Adam Nicholson opening the scoring for Stockton before a Michael Richardson equaliser.
But second half goals from Jamie Owens and Nathan Mulligan meant the Anchors came out on top.
On the match Mick Mulhern said: “Obviously Kevin (Bolam) and I were bitterly disappointed, as are the players.
“It’s one of them, they happen from time to time.
“Today wasn’t going to win or lose the season, it makes no difference. We’ve still got to play them at our place.”
Mulhern added: “I don’t think there was much in the game.
“I was really pleased, and likewise Kevin was, with our response to going behind.
“I thought Stockton were probably the better team in the second half.
“The goals we conceded were just a little bit sloppy. They were errors and good teams are going to punish you if you make errors.”
The Hornets had two weeks off due to games being rained off, which didn’t look like ideal preparation heading into a top of the table clash.
Mulhern said: “We don’t look for excuses but you could clearly see with 15 minutes to go that one or two players were just a bit leggy.
“It’s not what you want, you want to be playing every week, and if it was on grass today it would have been off. Thankfully, we’ve come down here and had a game which I think is important.”
On whether Hebburn needed to take their chances when they came against a top side, Mulhern added: “Well against any side in this league you have to take your chances when they come.
“But yeah, especially against the good sides that’s the difference.
“Decision making in and around your box, both in your own box and in their box. In our box it cost us a little bit today and we’ve lost the game.”
The Hornets will look to bounce back next week as they travel to Liverpool in the FA Vase third round.
Mulhern said: “The Vase means everything to this club, just as promotion does.
“We’re pleased to play today because that’s important building up to next week. Three or four weeks would have been too long and a big ask.
“Kevin watched them (Lower Breck) on Thursday night so we’re under no illusions it’s going to be an easy game.
“I’m sure there will be a response from today because there always has been. Whenever we’ve had a bad result, and we’ve only had a couple, there’s been a great response from the lads.”