Harpenden must fix inconsistencies if they are to challenge at the top of the league
- Credit: Archant
Inconsistencies are the main reason for the frustrations at Harpenden Town after a 2-1 defeat at Harefield United.
It was a far cry from the previous Saturday when they out-performed Spartan South Midlands Premier Division leaders Tring Athletic.
Tashan Jordan hit the winner in the second minute of stoppage time after Tarik Dallas had cancelled out Lenny Farhall's first-half opener.
And coach Micky Nathan says if they want to be challenging at the pointy end of the table come April then they have to find a way to put a string of wins together.
"We weren't at the races," he admitted. "We didn't come out of the traps in the first-half. We were really up for it last week against Tring but we didn't start here.
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"We were hoping to get into half-time at 0-0 but we gave a sloppy goal away so that's disappointing.
"We saw it coming to be fair but Martin let rip at half-time.
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"We're so inconsistent at the minute and if we want to be up there challenging, especially in the top five, then the teams that are going to be there are going to be consistently winning.
"We have to be doing the same.
"We were better second half and got the goal back that we deserved.
"But then we should have cleared it before their second goal was a kick in the teeth, a real killer."
Nathan felt that Harefield deserved credit for their own performance but he also believes that step one in banishing the inconsistent outings is to learn when to play and when to scrap.
He said: "Our philosophy is to play football and we have the players in there who could play higher.
"There's a time to play and there's a time to battle and in a game like this we were put under pressure.
"So in those circumstances we have to play in the right channels and the right areas.
"If we do that we turn their back four and we put them on the back foot.
"We didn't do that. As much as we do want to play, there is a time and place.
"When it's winter and it's a bit boggy, that's when you need to be resilient and turn round to teams and say 'you have to beat us'."
The first chance to get over this loss is on Saturday when fourth-place Biggleswade United, one spot above Harpenden, visit Rothamsted Park.