Knaresborough Town manager Brian Davey rued his lack of striking options after defeat to Emley on Saturday as his side failed to score for the second successive match.
Emley’s attacking threat Steve Kenworthy hit a hat-trick to condemn Davey’s side, who were missing both Colin Heath and Brad Walker, to a 3-0 away defeat, as Will Lenehan was shown a second yellow card in the second half.
Knaresborough’s talisman Mitch Hamilton struggled to exert himself against the experienced Paul Sykes while Hiliard Serrao, Ben Parkes and Liam Gray failed to convert their efforts during a frustrating 90 minutes.
Davey’s side should have taken the lead as early as the second minute when Serrao hit the post and the striker was denied by the woodwork again in the second half but, in truth, the home side proved good value for the points.
The win extended Emley’s lead at the top of the table with Davey admitting that his side were never in command in a game where they struggled to make chances.
He said: “Brad pulled out of the game with an injury and Colin was serving the last match of his suspension so we didn’t create a great deal up front.
“Mitch struggled in the mud and with Colin being that bit more experienced and with Brad scoring goals for fun you’re always going to miss them.
“They’re top of the league for a reason so you’ve got to be at your very best to score goals against these teams but they were excellent and took their chances.”
The loss was only the second time this season that Knaresborough have failed to find the net in back-to-back matches but Davey is confident the run will not continue.
His side host bottom of the table Grimsby Borough on Saturday and the last time the two sides met Hamilton hit a hat-trick in a comprehensive 6-1 victory.
Davey is hopeful he will have Walker available again for the match but is unsure whether Heath will make an immediate return to his starting 11.
He said: “Next week we will start again. Grimsby are struggling a bit this season but they were one of the better footballing sides we faced when we played them.
“But they made a lot of silly mistakes on the day and we punished them. Hopefully we will keep our foot on the pedal again and get the win to take us back on track.
“The lads are a bit down after the defeat but hopefully we can bounced back. Colin is back and he’s trying very hard inn training but we’re not sure whether or not to play him straight away.”