Maldon and Tiptree boss Terry Spillane blamed a poor performance for their defeat against Witham Town.
They lost 3-0 in their Ryman League division one north derby encounter at the Village Glass Stadium.
And Spillane (pictured) blamed himself for not freshening up his side, despite their excellent 2-0 win against Harlow Town last Saturday.
He said: “Truthfully, the better side won.
“They are a difficult side to play against and I want to give them as much credit as I can because they were good.
“But we felt we were really poor after Saturday’s performance.
“Looking at it with hindsight, we should have freshened it up.
“We started with the same 11 that started on Saturday and did so well, but sometimes, as a manager, you have to hold your hands up.
“That horse has bolted now but maybe it would have made a bit of difference for us with some fresher legs.
“I’d have liked to have seen us get more shots on goal and Guesty (Witham keeper Martyn Guest) only had one save to make at the end, so I would have liked us to have tested him more.
“I would have liked to see us more comfortable in possession because we didn’t pass the ball about at all.
“You can blame the pitch, but they managed to ping it about.
“We didn’t clear our lines well enough.
“Our clearances were going ten or 15 yards, but Witham’s were going 50 or 60 yards from their back four.”