Petersfield Town slipped to a 3-1 Southern League division one central defeat at Ware on Saturday.
And manager Ian Saunders admitted he could have few complaints about his side’s first defeat in seven league games.
‘It isn’t often a manager can say he has no complaints but we were beaten in a good game of football,’ said the boss.
‘In the end we couldn’t deal with the pace and directness of their front three.
‘It was a close game but they scored a couple of excellent goals and were more clinical.
‘I couldn’t fault the effort from my players who put in a good shift.
‘Unfortunately it has not been a good week for us.’
Town drafted in 19-year-old goalkeeper Luke Eaton for only his second senior start in the absence of regular custodian Anthony Ender.
Eaton did well and made sure his side remained on level terms at the break with two good saves.
The first half proved an open affair but neither side could find a way to break the deadlock as the half ended goalless.
‘There was a lot of sand on the pitch but it held up well and it was a good advert,’ said Saunders.
The home side took charge on the hour mark when they made the vital breakthrough.
Ware got in behind the Rams defence and found a way past Eaton.
Two goals in the space of four minutes then sealed Petersfield’s fate.
The visitors did manage a late consolation goal from Joe Briggs, who toe-poked the ball in following a goalmouth scramble.
‘Although we lost, our performance restored a bit of faith following the midweek cup defeat at AFC Portchester,’ said Saunders.
‘It is fine lines as you step up the levels and Ware deserved their win.
‘We were just disappointed not to come away with something.
‘I was pleased for Luke, who came in and made a number of good saves.’
The Rams are next in action on Wednesday night when Potters Bar Town visit Love Lane (7.45pm).