Aylesbury United manager Tony Joyce lamented his side’s individual mistakes following their 3-0 home defeat to St Ives Town on Saturday.
On the back of an excellent win at Egham Town, the Ducks made a strong start with Jordan Frederick lashing a shot wide while Lewis Putman also went close, but it was the visitors who took a 16th minute lead in bizarre fashion.
Ben Seymour-Shove sized up a free-kick on the left touchline, some 45 yards from goal, and as he delivered the cross, Ducks goalkeeper Tahj Bell misjudged the flight of the ball, came off his line and was left red-faced as the ball sailed over him into the net for the softest of opening goals.
That was a sign of things to come as United continued to miss chances before another mistake gifted St Ives a second goal before Bell’s miserable afternoon was compounded in the second half when he miscued a routine back pass and the ball trickled into the net.
Bell has only recently extended his loan spell at the club after regular Aylesbury goalkeeper Jack Sillitoe dislocated his shoulder while on loan at Winslow United.
Joyce said: “Unfortunately, our keeper had one of those games he’d rather forget.
“It doesn’t look good because we didn’t score and lost 3-0, but we didn’t have much to do defensively in the first 20 minutes or so, but then they won a free-kick from 45 yards our goal, the goalkeeper called for it and the ball went sailing over his head into the net.
“We then found ourselves 2-0 down at half-time but we weren’t playing that bad.
“We had lots and lots of pressure in the second half and their goalkeeper pulled off a few good saves, and then one of our defenders plays a back pass to our keeper, who went to kick it up field, missed it and the ball trickled into the net, so it was one of those days.
“I thought we played OK in patches. We played some good football but goals win and change football matches.
“The week before Tahj made a world-class save and won us two points, so it’s one of those things for goalkeepers.”
It was the 16th time this season that United have conceded three goals in a game as they continue to struggle for consistency. The Ducks have failed to record back-to-back league wins since September.
Joyce added: “It’s very frustrating and it’s individual errors that are costing us and there’s nothing myself or the coaching staff can do about that. Basic, basic mistakes are costing us dearly.
“We’re sitting in mid-table, we’re not going to get relegated and we’re not going to win the league, so now we’re building for next season.
“We want to finish as high as possible but we’ve got some really good players and when we play well, we’re one of the best sides in the league.”