A relentless run of matches continues for Forest Green at Skrill Premier strugglers Tamworth on Saturday afternoon (3pm).
Rovers head to The Lamb for their fourth league fixture in eight days, having failed to follow up impressive wins over Cambridge United and Salisbury City against Braintree Town on Thursday night.
Boss Ady Pennock was at a loss to explain the lax defending that gifted the Essex part-timers victory – and deprived his side of seventh place in the table.
Pennock said: “Everyone is disappointed because we could have gone up a few places with a win, but we’ve got to re-group and let’s be nice and bright at Tamworth.
“Braintree grind teams down and fair play to them for coming and doing a job on us.
“With a little bit more luck here and there in the first half it might have been a different story, but we did concede two poor, poor goals.”
The Iron went ahead from the penalty spot in the 36th minute after Rovers goalkeeper Sam Russell was adjudged to have brought down Bernard Mensah.
Another rush of blood from Russell and Aarran Racine’s poor clearance presented Mensah with the chance to double Braintree’s advantage, after which the punishing schedule appeared to take its toll on Pennock’s men.
“We’ve looked again at the penalty decision and we don’t think Sam touched their player – he tripped over his own heel,” said Pennock.
“But I’m not here to have a go at referees and we’ve got to look at ourselves for the way we defended.
“The second goal was a calamity at the back, but we didn’t give up and I don’t want to have a go at the players because they’ve been fantastic.”
Pennock had hoped to give new signing Luke Rodgers a meaningful run-out from the bench on Tuesday, only for the striker to complain of a tight hamstring.
Having already lost defender Jamie Turley during the warm-up for the same reason, Pennock was not prepared to take any risks and he will assess the ex-Shrewsbury Town man again before naming his team on Saturday.
Matty Taylor has fond recent memories of facing Tamworth – he scored a hat-trick against them while on loan at Chester last month – and is likely to start up front.
The Lambs were beaten 1-0 at local rivals Nuneaton Town on Tuesday and are five points adrift of safety, although they did manage a win at the New Lawn back in September.
Among their ranks is on-loan forward Matthew Barnes-Homer, who has six Forest Green goals to his name this season but joined Cambridge United in January.