Neil Aspin admitted his FC Halifax Town side weren’t good enough as they lost their final warm-up match 3-1 to Stockport County at the Shay.
County raced into a two-goal lead thanks to Kristian Dennis’ brace before substitute Kayde Koppin sealed the win after Marc Roberts’ header had halved the deficit.
The Town boss was disappointed with his team’s defending for the Stockport goals and wants his team to tighten up at the back ahead of Sunday’s trip to Cambridge.
He said: “Up until the first goal I thought we were doing OK.
“We should have been in front but once we went behind to a fantastic finish we certainly weren’t good enough for the division we’re going into.
“Their finishing was excellent but certainly for the second goal, we’ve had enough time to clear the ball and even on the first goal,
“I’d expect a defender to block it. Great finishes but you’d expect to get a body there to block the shot.
“We said last year how important the first goal is and you only have to look at the Stockport game, we should’ve been in front but we end up going behind.
“It’s going to be so vital this year that we don’t get behind and are having to chase the games.
“Today was also a good lesson that if you give teams in the league we’re going into chances, they’re going to stick them away and they took their chances exceptionally well.”
An injury to Dan Gardner which forced him off in the first-half cast a shadow over proceedings, although it looks like the midfielder isn’t as seriously hurt as was first feared.
Scott McManus was also taken off after the interval with a back injury, but Aspin confirmed that was as a precaution, and that Ryan Topulson didn’t feature against the Hatters after sustaining a minor calf injury in training.
The Shay chief, who said he knows his starting 11 for the Cambridge match, indicated Gardner will miss Town’s season opener and said he felt for the 23-year-old, who picked up a serious knee injury playing against Stockport during last pre-season.
He said: “It was a bad tackle but we’ll just have to see. He’s obviously going to be out for a spell but that’s what happens.
“I took the precaution of not playing a couple of players and you’re hoping you don’t get an injury but it’s just unfortunate it’s the same player against the same team.
“It’s disappointing for the lad as well. He’s trying to get himself fitter, which he knows he needs to be, but the lad’s a talent and it’ll be a big loss for us.”