Pinchbeck United are beaten by Skegness Town in the United Counties League Premier Division North
Manager Lewis Thorogood admitted his Pinchbeck United side were 'second best in all areas of the park' after their five-goal away defeat at Skegness Town on Tuesday afternoon.
Former Spalding United and Holbeach striker Jonny Lockie hit a hat-trick against the Knights with Adam Millson and McCauley Parker also on target in a comfortable success for the Lilywhites.
The Pinchbeck performance left boss Thorogood disappointed after decent displays in their last two outings against Selston and Deeping Rangers.
He said: "I felt we were second best in all areas of the park. We were quite a few yards off it and allowed players to bring the ball down, take a touch when we needed to get tight to them to stop them playing.
"Skegness did the basics very well. They were first to the second balls and got it into the wide areas and frontmen when they needed to.
"They looked to turn us when the time was right to do so and, most importantly, the crosses that came in were connected with and crucially they finished their chances.
"Skegness broke the play down and forced us on the back foot and we didn't do that. We battled in the wrong areas.
"We had two or three chances but, when you find yourselves three goals down at half-time, it's just not good enough.
"We are a group that is building and developing which was always the plan this season so we could kick on next year but there are ways and means of doing it.
"The way that we played, with the group of players that we have, is just not good enough and you can't take any positives out of losing 5-0.
"It was disappointing off the back of two good performances, despite the result against Deeping, to deliver a display like that."
The Knights found themselves trailing after just six minutes of the contest when Jordan Smith's cross from the left ricocheted off Lockie to fell kindly for Millson to scramble home the opening goal.
Lockie was then close to latching onto Ben Davison's through ball, only for goalkeeper Alex Smith to gather just inside his area, while home custodian Jake Askew did likewise as Jack Fixter threatened to intercept a headed back pass.
Joe Melson then started and finished a decent move with a strike that was safely gathered by Askew before Jordan Smith was presented with a good opening for the hosts but steered his shot wide.
Davison then guided an effort against the post before Skegness scored twice in the final five minutes of the first half to take firm control of the contest.
Askew's long clearance wasn't dealt with by the Pinchbeck defence and Lockie pounced to prod home their second goal.
Former Tulips midfielder Conor Marshall then created the third on the stroke of half-time with a sweetly-struck cross that was guided home by the head of Lockie.
Davison headed just wide for Skegness early in the second period before Will Hollingsworth produced a smart turn on the edge of the home box but curled his shot just past the Skegness post.
Lockie then completed his hat-trick as he took Parker's precise pass into his stride before finishing with aplomb past Smith.
Dan Worthington produced a superb block to keep Davison's header at bay before Fixter forced Pinchbeck's best opening as he robbed George Hobbins of possession but was thwarted by the advancing Askew who saved well.
Smith made a fine save at the other end with a full-length stop to deny Jamie Potts but was powerless to prevent Skegness' fifth goal in the last minute as Marshall this time picked out Parker with a cross and he headed home.
Despite the defeat, Pinchbeck remain two points clear of the danger zone but second-from-bottom Selston do have three games in hand on the Knights whose next match is a home derby against Holbeach United on Monday, January 3.
The Tigers' planned home match with Deeping Rangers on Tuesday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch while Bourne's trip to Blackstones was called off following a Covid-19 outbreak in the Wakes' camp.
Pinchbeck: Smith, Worthington, Robson, Moyses, Spafford, Jackson, Johnson (Kacirek), Melson (Stevens), Hollingsworth, Fixter, Miller.