Blues boss Simon Garner insists his players will learn and grow from recent disappointments.
A Sefton Gonzales double either side of Jason Hart’s strike had given Clitheroe a 3-0 half-time lead against New Mills at Church Lane, but Daniel Brady’s own goal and Roberto Bonaminio’s dismissal sparked a resurgence from the hosts as they hit back through Daniel Forde and Matthew Landregan to claim a point.
“I’ve tried to erase it from my memory,” Garner said. “We dropped our standards in the second half and probably got what we deserved. But as bad as we were we still should’ve seen the game out, even with 10 men.
“We grew a bit complacent. Roberto cost himself a red card and a ban and we cost ourselves the points. The sending off epitomised our second half performance really.
“It’s frustrating because we played really well in the first half so I would never have imagined that we’d only go on to get a point at the end of it. To be 3-0 up away at half time is great but the game is 90 minutes long.”
The Blues had been building towards the consistency that had so often eluded them throughout the season. Five wins from six games in all competitions had seen morale boosted at Shawbridge, but Garner believes his side showed blatant signs of complacency after the interval.
“Sometimes you learn more from games like that,” he said. “We’ve had worse results than that but we’ll take it all on board and build for the next game. We were so close but yet so far away.
“It’s even more infuriating because we’ve been on a good run. We’d been building the consistency that I was talking about but then we took our foot off the pedal and we paid for it. You can’t afford to do that.”
He added: “We lost a little bit of ground on the teams above us. We could’ve climbed closer to our rivals but we allowed them to open up a bigger gap. It’s a work in progress though so we’ll keep learning and improving from these experiences.
“There’s going to be bad results and performances along the way because we’re not perfect, but I know they won’t want to experience anything like that again. The difference between the two halves was quite meteoric.
“We’ve dropped so many points in the last minute of games so we need to manage that better. We could be much higher up in the table than what we are.”
Ahead of the fixture with Burscough on home soil on Saturday, Garner went on: “As angry and frustrated as I was though I’m still looking at the bigger picture. I’m delighted with the squad and we’ll keep on building towards next year by finishing as strongly as possible this season. These experiences will help them knock the bad habits on the head.”