MARK Beesley admits his Warrington Town side were “not at the races” as their recent unbeaten run was brought to an end.

A lacklustre display saw Yellows beaten 2-0 at Spennymoor Town on Tuesday night for their first defeat in six National League North matches and only their second since the turn of the year.

First-half goals from Lebrun Mbeka and Reece Staunton proved enough to secure a deserved win for the hosts at the Brewery Field and Beesley admitted his side’s showing before half-time was among their worst of the campaign.

Having said that, his biggest frustration were the “preventable” goals his side let in having conceded just twice in open play during their unbeaten run – Mbeka headed home an early corner before Staunton robbed Isaac Buckley-Ricketts of possession, drove upfield and powered home a finish on the stroke of half time.

“I think the first 45 minutes was as poor as we’ve been all season. We didn’t get to grips with them,” he said.

“I don’t think they overly hurt us but they had energy and enthusiasm and we weren’t at the races.

“As good as we’ve been of late and all season, that first 45 minutes was poor as a team and individually.

“In this league, you get punished but we gave really preventable goals away and that’s probably the biggest criticism.

“Although we weren’t at it, we had to try and get in at 0-0 so we could then change a few things.

“The second goal is definitely a killer and it gave us a mountain to climb.

“We had a right go in the second half – we probably rushed Josh Amis back today and in another few weeks, he probably takes both of the chances he had.

“We could have had a penalty as well, so we did cause them problems and there was a little bit of a reaction, but when you’re 2-0 down and chasing things it’s tough.”

The introduction of skipper Amis, who was playing his first game in over a month having recovered from an ankle injury, did spark a brief response but it could not be turned into anything sustained.

Beesley admitted the aggressive pressing tactic Spennymoor used in the game proved too much for his side and insists they have to find a way to counter that approach.

“We couldn’t get out – we were good at playing through Curzon on Saturday but we couldn’t do that tonight,” he said.

“We looked a bit fatigued and a bit “rabbit in the headlights” with their press and we’ve got to learn from it.

“We’ve no divine right to win any game in this league as it’s a tough league. If we’re not at it, we’ll get found out and that’s what happened today.

“It’s a problem we’ve got to work on – when we come up against teams that press us aggressively, we’ve got to find ways of getting out.

“There’s one or two things we’ve identified that we need to work on and we must do that.

“We’ve got to be braver in possession and with our movement. It’s important we don’t get too down.

“We’ve been on a good run of late and performances have been good for a long time. We had a blip against Tamworth but apart from that, I can’t remember too many poor performances.

“These things happen at a really good level and I think Spennymoor are a really good team – they’ve recruited well of late and will climb up the table quickly.

“Sometimes you’ve got to give teams credit and I thought they were excellent in that first half.”

Beesley made two changes to the team that started Saturday’s impressive 3-0 win at Curzon Ashton, with midfielders Jay Harris and Matty McDonald dropping to the bench.

McDonald has been a key part of Town’s upturn in form since returning from a knee problem, but Beesley says he has picked up a hamstring niggle that requires careful monitoring.

“It was a precaution,” he said.

“He was touch-and-go to play on Saturday and he got through 70 minutes. With the injury he’s picked up, we just have to be careful with him.

“It’s the same with Jay Harris – he’s had a bad injury that we have to monitor and look after.

“We’ve got to make sure he’s available for more games than he’s not.”