Buxton FC are suffering from a lack of cutting edge following consecutive defeats, according to boss Paul Phillips.
Saturday’s 2-0 loss at play-off rivals Basford United in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division was followed by Integro League Cup semi-final disappointment on Tuesday night.
A 77th-minute Adam Farrell goal for hosts Trafford sealed their place in the final of the competition, as the Bucks look to pick themselves up for a trip to Grantham Town.
Bucks boss Phillips said: “We couldn’t put the ball in the net. It’s the worst we’ve played since the change. People let us and the spectators down.
“There was only one team that played football all the way through but if you don’t put the ball in the net then you don’t win football games.
“I’m probably sounding like a broken record saying that but we’re not scoring enough goals.
“We had to change it a little bit for Tuesday night because a lot of people were out on their feet on Saturday, with playing six games in 16 days.
“We had a thin squad, not much strength in depth, and had to leave a few players out with the bigger picture being getting back in the play-offs at Grantham on Saturday.
“We should have had enough on the pitch to win the game. They didn’t have many shots on goal while we have had good chances and not taken them.
“That comes down to not having that killer instinct to put teams away and that’s what’s happened. When you get to the cup semi-finals you take it seriously and want to reach the final to give the supporters a day out. They’ve let them down, myself included.
“I told them under no uncertain terms it wasn’t good enough last night. We did try to play football in conditions that weren’t great for it. We huffed and puffed but didn’t put the ball in the net when we needed to put the ball in the net.”
And added: “We’ve kept 16 clean sheets this season and our top scorer is on nine goals, I think that’s Liam [Hardy], and it’s not acceptable.
“We’re making chances and it was the same on Saturday - we got hit by the sucker-punch.”
A goal in each half on Saturday put an end to Buxton’s hopes of extending their unbeaten run to four games.
Jack Thomas put the hosts ahead on 17 minutes before a Bradley Roscoe own goal on the stroke of 90 sealed it.
“No disrespect to them but they were the poorest side we’ve faced in the last four games,” said Phillips. “I know that sounds like sour grapes when you lose but we should have had two nailed on penalties in the first half but we have to take that out of the referee’s hands.
“We hit the bar and the post and threw everything at them later on only to get hit with a sucker-punch. I didn’t go mad at the lads afterwards because I know we were tired and the tempo wasn’t the same. We kept the ball well, which was different to last night when we didn’t keep the ball well.”
Saturday’s hosts Grantham have lost their last two to Hednesford Town and Witton Albion, both away, while their last home outing saw them beat Matlock Town.
“It’ll be a tough slog that we need to prepare for and get back to where we want to be. We can then go into the Scarborough match full of confidence,” added Phillips.