REDDITCH United boss Matt Clarke felt his Redditch United were toothless after the Reds were beaten 2-0 by relegation-threatened Stratford Town.
The Bards’ on-loan striker Callum Ebanks scored in either half to settle a close game at the Arden Garages Stadium as Redditch’s three-game winning run came to an end.
And with just four league matches left to play, Clarke hopes he can lift players’ spirits as the Reds try and achieve an impressive top-10 finish.
Clarke said: “There wasn’t that much in the game, Stratford wanted it more than us, they’re fighting for their lives, they started really brightly and ended up getting a goal.
“We had a lot of the ball in the second half but we just didn’t look like scoring, we knocked on the door a little bit but we were toothless.
“That was the difference, they didn’t have a lot of chances but they had a player up top who caused us all sorts of problems.
“There’s four games left and a cup final, we’re going to have to rotate and give a couple of them a breather, not that we’ve got much to rotate with.
“We’ve got to try and lift spirits, get to the end of the season and finish as high as we can, we have to keep being positive.”
Ebanks broke the deadlock on 32 minutes when his powerful header found the top-right corner from Charlie Williams’ cross.
And Ebanks sealed the points for Stratford on 83 minutes when he poked home after substitute Andre Wright disrupted the Reds’ defence.
The result means Redditch sit ninth in the Southern League Premier Central table.
Redditch are away at Bedford Town on Good Friday (April 7) with kick-off at 3pm at The Eyrie before they host local rivals Alvechurch on Easter Monday (April 10) with kick-off at 3pm at the Trico Stadium.