VIRGINIA Water manager Ceri Jones is feeling flat after his side suffered back-to-back 1-0 home defeats in the Hellenic Premier Division, writes Rob Stevens.

A goal in the first-half from Sam Ockwell saw Shrivenham leave Stag Meadow with all three points on Saturday, before Holmer Green registered only their second away win of the season on Tuesday.

Jones admits the Waters have been left to rue missed opportunities and believes his team could be in the top five with a proven goal scorer in their ranks.

He told the Observer: “It’s really disappointing that we have just one point from three home games against teams fighting for their lives.

“It’s really frustrating and left me feeling flat because we were in good form before Christmas. We were on the crest of a wave but have been brought back down to earth with a bump.

“The teams down the bottom are more than capable of beating the teams at the top and there are no easy games or guaranteed three points to be had in this league.

“We missed an open goal four or five times in midweek and were left to rue missed opportunities.

“Some ground-hopers tweeted that we are probably the best footballing side in the league but, when we’re in the final third, we lack quality or a cutting edge.

“If I had a top striker then we would be in the top five in the league but our two forwards have scored 12 goals between them this season and we’re just left to rue missed opportunities all the time.

“I always back the players and on paper we have one of the best defences but worst attacks, and if you don’t take your chances then you can’t expect to win matches.

“We had 70 per-cent of the game in midweek and Matthew [Jones, keeper] didn’t have a save to make, but we didn’t turn our territory and possession into goals.

“We had two blatant penalty decisions turned down and two red cards but we were still the more threatening in the final 15-20 minutes.

“If you do not score goals then you don’t deserve to win games. We were left to rue missed opportunities and some bizarre decisions but I will leave it at that really.”

Jones continued: "We created more in midweek but still should have been three or four goals ahead. We had many chances but couldn't hit the target and turn our possession into goals sadly.

"That has been our Achilles heel all season but I'm sure we will bounce back because the squad is strong. The big positive is the strength of the younger players forcing their way through.

"All teams will say that they need a little bit of lady luck and we've been on the wrong end a lot of controversial decisions, but other sides will say the same.

"We need to adapt better to the physicality and and directness of the league, and change our pattern of play to suit the conditions. We need a Plan B when our passing game isn't working

"When you're chasing the game you've got to go route one at times but we have got to work with what we've got when you have no budget. We will work with what we've got because the guys are learning and we don't pay anyone.

"I don't want to be too critical of the lads up front because we have got to work with what we've got and we will support them on the way.

"A couple of wins will secure our position in the league for next season which was our initial aim."