TOMMY LAWSON was left bemoaning a “disappointing” refereeing performance as Skelmersdale United lost at promotion rivals Worksop Town last weekend.
But the Skem boss believes his side have “a great chance” of mounting a title challenge in the New Year.
Lawson was delighted with his side's application in their dramatic 3-2 Boxing Day win at AFC Fylde, but was left fuming after they were on the end of a number of debatable decisions at Worksop two days later.
Lawson believed Worksop's first goal should have been ruled out for a push, whilst he was critical of the decision which led to Leon Mettham's penalty, which made it 2-0 to the home side.
And to compound matters, he felt Skem were denied a spot kick of their own late on when Dean Astbury's shot was handled.
“It wasn't a great performance from the referee, it was disappointing,” Lawson said. “It influenced the result actually, which is annoying.
“I can't be critical of my players, they gave it everything and I thought we actually played very well.
“To pick up the result we did at Fylde, and then to put in another shift against a team that is flying at the moment, it was very good. We were applauded off by the Worksop spectators, which I think says everything.”
The defeat does not dent Skem's league position too much in any case. Chorley's draw at Stocksbridge Park Steels means Lawson's men retained top spot in the Evo-Stik Premier Division table. They face a trip to play-off chasing Whitby Town on Saturday.
“It's going to be really exciting,” Lawson said. “I'm just chalking the games off as they go, at the moment.
“Our home form has been exceptional, 11 wins and a draw from 12 games, but we showed against Fylde that we can go it on the road too.
“The teams around us play each other, and there will be points dropped along the way. I sound like a broken record sometimes, but once we get some big players back in action – Shaun Holden, Aaron Turner, Rob McIntosh – we will be a much stronger side.”
Lawson was encouraged by the debut of forward Neil Prince, who netted at Worksop.
“It's not a gamble signing Neil Prince,” he said. “His quality is there for all to see. He took his goal well, and he will add a lot to our squad.”