TOM Killick bemoaned Poole Town’s “most disappointing display of the season” after his promotion chasers were shocked at lowly Burnham.
The Dolphins manager pulled no punches in his post-match assessment as Nicke Kabamba’s brace earned the hosts, who had taken just one point from their previous seven league outings, a 2-0 success at the Gore.
It was the first time since November 2011 that Poole had lost back-to-back league matches following Wednesday’s narrow loss at leaders Hemel Hempstead.
But while the meek showing left Killick with a fruitless search for positives, he refused to rip into his players following only their third Southern League Premier Division defeat of the season.
Killick told the Daily Echo: “It was a game I expected us to win but we were deservedly beaten. The conditions were difficult but we did not compete in the manner we needed to.
“The pitch dictated that we were not in a position to play any kind of football but it was the same for both sides. It was in dreadful condition and looked like nobody had been near it for weeks.
“In those situations you have to be intelligent and adapt but we didn’t do that. There were people trying to run with the ball when it was impossible, technically we were found wanting and physically they had a bit more than us.
"On reflection, it was our most disappointing display of the season but we have to try and move on now.
“I felt it was one of those occasions where if I had started criticising then we would still have been there now. I was in such a negative frame of mind I didn’t say much afterwards.
“Our squad does have this thing where they suffer defeat really badly. If I thought they hadn’t realised the significance of it all I would probably have been a bit more vocal about it but they knew how bad it was.
“Sometimes, the best way is to let them sort it out in their own minds and make amends in the next game.”
Weekend defeats for play-off rivals Cambridge City, Stourbridge and Bideford ensured Dolphins lost no ground in the race for the top five, but a downbeat Killick felt that had been a mixed blessing.
“Some people might look at it and say it is a good thing but for me, it doubles the frustration,” he added.
“It would have been a significant afternoon for us if we had done what we should have but it turned out to be quite the opposite.”
Meanwhile, Killick estimated former Cherries striker Jordan Chiedozie would miss two weeks with the groin strain he picked up on Wednesday.
Dolphins: Thomas, Burbidge, Spetch, Martin, Whisken, Pettefer, Brooks, Devlin (Davies, 60), Bennett, Preston (Elliott, 60), Charles. Unused subs: Dibba, Davis, Hutchings (g/k).