WIMBORNE Town boss Matty Holmes admitted he took a "real gamble" by adding substitute goalkeeper Chad Collins to his attack as Magpies chased an equaliser at Larkhall Athletic.
The tactic didn't work, with the home team holding out for a 1-0 victory, earned courtesy of Wimborne goalkeeper Gerard Benfield's seventh-minute own goal.
Holmes's resources for the trip to Bath were significantly depleted, with coaching pair Shane Traynor and Danny Holmes, and the injured Luke Holmes named on the bench.
Matty Holmes told the Daily Echo: "We lost the game in the first 15 minutes – we started extremely sloppily.
"They hit a corner into the box and Gerard pushed it into his own goal.
"After the opening 15 or 20 minutes we were on the front foot and creating chances but it was to no avail.
"We gambled and put Chad up front for the last few minutes just to try to get something out of the game.
"I don't think he has played up there before, we just had no options on the bench.
"It was a case of sticking another body up front and doing all we could to go for an equaliser."
Benfield pulled off a couple of terrific stops either side of his error, with the best of it for Magpies in the first half a shot over the bar from Matt Neale in the ninth minute.
And, with Luke Holmes unable to join the fray owing to his back injury, the visitors were short of creativity as they mustered nothing more than a few wayward, long-range efforts in the second 45 minutes.
The result sees Wimborne drop a place to 10th in Southern South & West.
"We had a real gamble," continued Matty Holmes, who revealed injured pair Carl Preston and Josh Hartley will not play again this season.
"They did have the odd counter attack where they could have caught us, but the boys' commitment in the second half was brilliant, I could not fault it.
"And as long as we have a go and try to play they right way I can take a result like that on the chin.
"We had chances but there was just a little bit of quality missing.
"We changed our formation three times in the second half to try to make something happen.
"In the past month I have had a decent bench and we have been able to change our personnel. We just need a bit more strength in depth if we are going to push on next season and that is what we have to look at."
Magpies: Benfield, Walker (Prior, 71), Penny (Collins, 87), Maybury, Davidson, Oldring, Stokoe, Hester, T Holmes, Neale, Lovell. Unused subs: Traynor, D Holmes, L Holmes.