DAVE CARTER admits Moneyfields are being stretched to the limit following their 2-0 defeat against Bedford Town at Dover Road.
It is the second defeat in the space of five days for the previously unbeaten Southern League premier division leaders.
The latest reverse saw them slip to fourth in the league.
A combination of injuries, suspensions and illness has ravaged the squad in the last week.
It has left Carter without up to six first choice players and having to play others who are far from fully fit.
The manager himself has also been under the weather this week.
He wasn’t feeling much better after witnessing a below-par display from the team.
Against Bedford his toothless side were well beaten. The visitors possessed greater quality going forward.
Carter is only too aware the problems are threatening to derail the Moneyfields challenge at the top.
The Moneys boss said: ‘When you have six players of the quality we have missing it makes it very difficult.
‘We just weren’t good enough.
‘Some of the players I have brought in have worked and some haven’t.
‘When you have three of your best attacking players, Dan Wooden, Ryan Pennery and Steve Hutchings out then it is bound to make a huge difference.
‘We also missed the experience of Brett Poate and James Ford at the back.
‘Of the players who went out there a few have been suffering with a chest infection all week.
‘It is just difficult for us at the moment. It is disappointing to lose two games on the trot.’
Moneyfields started strongly forcing four successive corners but the Eagles gradually got into the game.
Home goalkeeper Steve Mowthorpe had already made a couple of good saves before Moneyfields fell behind after 31 minutes.
The home side failed to deal with a near post corner and David Manu hooked the ball into the net.
Moneyfields received a further blow when Hawks loanee midfielder Marley Ridge was replaced at half-time because of an ankle injury.
Arguably he had been the hosts best player.
The Eagles sealed the win on 71 minutes with a quick attack.
David Moli’s shot was cleared off the goal line but Manu raced in to easily net the rebound.
Despite the two defeats Carter is expecting his men to turn it around.
‘Hopefully we can start to get some of our players returning and we can get back on track,’ he added.
‘We have to dust ourselves down, go again and get through this difficult patch.
Moneyfields: Mowthorpe, Giddings, Bailey, Fennemore, De Costa, Pearce, Austin, Raine, Ridge, White, Briggs. Subs: Spurway, Martin, Seiden, Smith, Neighbour.