Player-manager Ian Dunn has called for consistency from Pinchbeck United.
The Knights suffered their first home defeat in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Division One, losing 3-2 to Olney Town at the Sir Halley Stewart Field on Saturday.
Ollie Maltby was on target again and an own-goal put the Knights on level terms for the second time, only to concede an 86th-minute spot-kick after James Gordon was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Dunn admitted: “We were poor - on the day we just weren’t good enough.
“We pushed the self-destruct button by giving away goals on the counter-attack after conceding possession in their half.
“We didn’t recover and it was frustrating to be over-run like that. We’ve got to defend from the front.
“The ball has gone 80 to 90 yards but we should have won it back quickly or dealt with their breaks.
“We made bad decisions in possession and we didn’t work hard enough. Overall, it was a bad day.
“In this league, it seems any team down to 15th place could still potentially win the league because everyone is capable of beating each other.
“If you look at the results, you have to keep performing week in, week out to be right up there.
As soon as you drop the performance levels like we did on Saturday, you will get hurt because there are no easy games.Ian Dunn
“As soon as you drop the performance levels like we did on Saturday, you will get hurt because there are no easy games.
“We have to make sure our off days don’t come around too often.
“Sometimes you can get away with it if two or three players are off their game. But we had seven, eight or nine like that on Saturday which makes a massive impact on the result.
“The scoreline shows the fine margins, though, because we had missed chances when we were on top.
“The referee made some odd decisions but we can’t use that as an excuse.
“We need to stand up to be counted because this performance was not good enough. We need more from the players.”
Pinchbeck have a chance to put it right quickly at home to Sleaford Town on Wednesday in the Lincolnshire FA Senior Trophy.
They are without Chris Shipley, Jack Smith, Luke Gardner, Josh Smith and Tom Brooks.
The Knights return to league duty against rock-bottom Stewarts & Lloyds Corby at the Sir Halley Stewart Field on Saturday.