Spalding United boss Pat Rayment is still waiting for his side to click as their debut Evo-Stik League First Division South season reaches crunch time.
A 1-0 win away to relegation-threatened Kidsgrove Athletic was another “results that count” day for the Tulips when play-off chasing rivals Gresley drew while Leek Town, Lincoln United and Newcastle Town all lost.
Rayment felt his side were “lacklustre”, partly due to him serving a one-game touchline ban for previous disciplinary scrapes with match officials.
Rayment said: “We’ve come away from home and won 1-0 so obviously I’m pleased.
“But if I were Kidsgrove, I’d be absolutely gutted because I don’t think we put more than two passes together.
“Tom Waumsley scoring the goal for us put me on Everest, but there didn’t seem to be a spark from us and the players were quiet when usually they have something to say for themselves.
“They knew it was a lacklustre performance, but the result will say that we went away to Kidsgrove and won.”
Spalding were without Nathan Stainfield and striker Matty Nolan who are both expected to figure in the Easter Monday home game against Lincoln.
But Rayment is still without creative midfielder Jack McGovern who has an ankle problem.
“I’ve never bothered about the opposition because I know that if what I’ve got clicks, then we’re the best team in this league,” Rayment said.
“Things have gone against us at time but with the expectations here, performance levels have got to go up and we must improve.”
Rayment’s worries were echoed by striker Nathan Adams who said: “We know we didn’t perform as well as we can but I think, at the minute, three points at this stage of the season is what we want.
“If Kidsgrove finished their chances, they would have been the ones going away with three points.
“But we dug in deep and showed character.”