Vill Powell wants his Brighouse Town side to prove that Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat at Ossett United was a “one-off” when they make the trip to Belper Town tomorrow (3.0).
Brighouse’s three-month unbeaten league run was ended in emphatic style due to some uncharacteristic defensive errors.
They remain second in the table but Morpeth Town opened up a six-point lead with a 1-0 win over Tadcaster Albion.
Belper will be full of confidence following a 5-1 victory over Gresley on Tuesday and Powell said: “If the players want to stay at the right end of the table then they have got to respond, it is as simple as that.
“We are up there on merit, we have put together some great performances and some great results. You don’t become a bad team overnight based on what hopefully is just a one-off.”
Town were 2-0 victors at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium when the sides met on November 3. Belper, managed by former Ossett Town boss Grant Black, are unbeaten in their last three and sit outside the play-off places on goal difference.
Powell said his side had paid for four mistakes against a quality Ossett side who had invested heavily in a very experienced and well-established squad.
After weathering an early storm, Brighouse enjoyed most of the possession but did little to work Brett Souter in the United goal.
Three goals from the hosts in the final 15 minutes of the half put the game beyond Brighouse.
A long ball over the top was misjudged by Brighouse keeper Jordan Porter. It bounced over his head and Adam Priestley scored.
Tom Greaves then cashed in when James Hurtley attempted to shepherd the ball out of play and was dispossessed.
On the stroke of half time, Andy Monkhouse won the ball from Aaron Martin and squared to James Knowles, who placed it in the far corner.
With barely a minute played in the second half, winger Shiraz Khan worked his way into the area, passing a number of defenders, before finishing well with his left foot.
Brighouse put together a brief spell of pressure but didn’t trouble the hosts.