HORSHAM boss John Maggs blamed bad defending after watching his side suffer their 18th league defeat of the season, a 4-1 loss to second placed Bury Town at Gorings Mead.
Pat Harding’s deft flick from an Anthony Storey corner had brought Horsham a deserved leveller right on the stroke of half time after Craig Nurse had earlier put the visitors ahead.
Maggs men though were only level for three minutes as Nurse bagged his second straight after the interval before going on to complete his hat-trick, and a goal from Lee Reed made it a rather flattering score line for the title hopefuls.
Encouraging for Horsham was the threat they posed in the final third, with debutant Ashley Robinson looking a constant threat upfront, but their efforts were again undermined by their
Maggs said: “I’ve got to take the positives out of the game. Going forward we looked lively, we were probably a bit unfortunate if you like, we’ve had the chances, their goalkeeper’s made some really good stops at the right time but our defending is our undoing.
“It’s our undoing game in, game out and since Ben Andrews has been missing from the side we don’t seem to be dealing with the pressure. I’m not saying today there was a great deal of pressure because they only got at us seven or eight times and they’ve put the ball in the net four times, so the ratio is 50 per cent. Well we’ve got to defend better then that.
“Going forward and some of the possession play and little triangles we worked was excellent, I can’t knock that. 4-1 looks a hiding, I don’t think it was a 4-1 game but we didn’t take our chances.
“The result is disappointing, but we’ve been beaten by a side who are, let’s face it challenging to win the league, and I think certainly going forward we’ve given a good account of ourselves today.”
After holding several meetings with his squad throughout the week to address the side’s slump towards the relegation places Maggs said he was pleased with the response from his players.
He added: “I can tell you now if you’re looking at Tuesday’s Brighton Charity Cup I will play my full, strongest side because what’s needed at the moment is to go out and beat someone to get a lift, otherwise it’s backs to the wall and it’s going to be a real struggle.”
Defeats for all the bottom four sides means Horsham remain six points off the drop zone, but having played at least two games more than all the sides below them.