TOM Killick admitted Poole Town were "soundly beaten" after watching his side go down to a 3-0 defeat at Bath City yesterday.
Killick's side, who learned last week that they will not be allowed to compete in the National South play-offs, are now winless in four games.
Bath striker Marvin Morgan headed his team into a 14th-minute lead before Shawn McCoulsky, on loan from Bristol City, raced through to double the hosts' advantage four minutes after half-time.
Substitute Chas Hemmings wrapped up the scoring with four minutes to play.
There was some good news for fifth-placed Dolphins in the shape of a defeat for Hungerford, who remain two points adrift of the Dorset side after losing 2-0 at Hemel Hempstead.
Killick told the Daily Echo: "We were soundly beaten. Bath were better than us in every aspect of the game. It wasn't good.
"When you are on a poor run of results confidence is quite fragile. We conceded early in the game, so suddenly we were a goal down away from home against a side who are very potent in their attacking play.
"We regrouped at half-time and I could see us getting something from the game at that point.
"But within a few minutes we had conceded another goal. It was done then, really."
Morgan's opener came when the former Plymouth forward pounced on Reading loanee Axel Andresson's long throw to nod past Nick Hutchings.
Marvin Brooks was denied a leveller sixty seconds later, with Bath goalkeeper Max O'Leary improvising brilliantly to save the forward's point-blank header with his legs.
That effort, however, was a rare moment of promise for Killick's men.
Morgan turned provider after the break, releasing McCoulsky to finish beyond Hutchings. Hemmings applied the coup de grace when he turned home the rebound after Hutchings had saved from Andresson's close-range header.
"Bath have some very good players, they are probably only ninth because they try harder some weeks than others," said Killick.
"I think we caught them on a day when they were trying quite hard.
"We are normally good at defending balls into the box but their lad with the long throw caused us problems."
With their advantage over Hungerford still intact, Killick – who handed late outings to young pair Josh Leslie-Smith and Harvey Wright – is urging his side to finish the season on a high.
He said: "It is important there are no recriminations after this. We have to reproduce the qualities we have shown to get us this far at Whitehawk on Saturday. If we get a good result there it sets us up for a big final game against Dartford.
"The only positive from this match is that we finished with two of our under-18s on the pitch. When there is usually so much at stake it is difficult to give those players a chance."
Dolphins: Hutchings, Tallack, Spetch (Leslie-Smith, 83), Whisken, Moore, Pettefer (Granger, 60), Devlin, Burbidge, Cooper (Wright, 88), Roberts, Brooks.
Unused subs: Gale, Rees (g/k).