Dennis Greene has warned his Boston United side that they must come flying out of the traps - following last night’s 3-2 defeat to Bradford Park Avenue.
The visitors netted twice in the opening 10 minutes, which gave the Pilgrims a mountain to climb.
And conceding early goals has been something of a bugbear for Greene so far this season.
On Saturday, he watched his side go a goal down at Gloucester City within five minutes, while United were also trailing by two in the early stages at Vauxhall Motors earlier in the month.
On both those occasions, United showed great determination to fight back, beating Gloucester 3-1 and earning a 2-2 draw againt the Motormen.
However, as Greene conceded last night: “Their third was a goal too far.”
Demanding his side stop giving away early advantages, the manager continued: “At the moment we’re a second-half team.
“We generally go in drawing at half time and win the second half. But we’re 2-0 down and it’s an uphill struggle.
“We’ve got to sort out our first-half performances.
“Previously we’ve outscored the other teams and got away with it, but two goals against a good side is a hard task to come back from.”
Alex Davidson fired Park Avenue into a fifth-minute lead, while uncharacteristic sloppiness gifted the visitors goals number two and three.
Slack marking from Peter Bore allowed Nicky Walker a tap-in for the second, while captain Ian Ross missed a routine clearance from a corner midway through the second half, gifting Steve Mallory and equally simple finish.
Holding his post-match inquest, Greene stated: “We’ve given away two sloppy goals.
“Borey’s just ambled in to give the lad a tap in, and the third one, we’re on top, they get a corner, Rossy goes to clear it, under his foot and they tap it in at the back stick.”
However, those errors must take nothing away from Park Avenue who dominated proceedings early on, putting the Pilgrims under constant pressure with their quick breaks.
“Bradford are probably the best side we’ve played this season to be fair to them,” Greene continued.
“Their midfield and forward line rotate very well and cause you problems.
“But we were really poor for 30 minutes.”
The defeat - coupled with Altrincham’s victory at home to Gloucester - saw Boston drop out of the top five.
However, unlike the 3-0 reverse at North Ferriby, Boston showed a lot more fighting spirit.
They bombarded the Bradford goal throughout the second half, with Marc Newsham scoring twice.
And that refusal to roll over impressed Greene.
He added: “How didn’t we get anything out of the game? It was just incredible.
“The second half we were camped in their half. We’ve just gone round the dressing room, player for player, and we counted 11 chances.
“There’s one there that’s hit the inside of the post (from Ricky Miller), and we’ve scored twice.
“The supporters can’t fault us, we worked our socks off.
“I thought we thoroughly deserved a point. Bradford had one or to chances second half and we had 11.”