Dennis Kutrieb felt his side’s second-half performance lacked the clarity required to retake the lead and then to salvage a point once Maidstone got their noses in front. The Fleet boss said too many players had off days as the visitors prevailed courtesy of Sam Corne’s second goal of the game.
“There were lots of little things and I could see during the second-half the boys tried harder and harder but when you do this in football normally it is tough to come through and tough to score,” Kutrieb told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “You need to have a clear head, you need to have determination and you need to be composed like Raks was in the first-half, he was outstanding. When you feel like you’re not in the game but you really want to come into it, most of the time it’s better to play very easy instead of trying harder and that’s what we missed today.
“I think we had a good start but I was concerned because we could see during the first minute before we scored that we are not in the game as we have been other games [recently]. When we scored the first I was a little bit relieved because not everyone was on the same performance [levels] like before and as a team we didn’t deliver the same quality as the weeks before.”
The Fleet boss felt Maidstone deserved their win but was unhappy that his side didn’t do enough to stop them doing so.
“I think it’s not about them,” he said. “I think it’s only about us because gaps were there. Of course they pressed a little bit higher but in the derby it’s what you expect, that they go to their limits and they try to make it as hard as possible. Congratulations to them because when they win 3-2 it’s deserved but it’s not that they played really well. We didn’t play at the same quality as we have been before and that’s the biggest issue. If you don’t play [with] the same intensity, the same quality, if you make a mistake here and a mistake there unnecessarily and concede easy goals, it’s tough to come back. The boys worked hard but it’s not good enough because if not everyone was on their performance levels, then you can’t win a derby.
“After the game I would say perhaps it was a mistake to play the same formation because all the other times it worked out to change! But after Saturday, they know exactly what we want to do and if we had the same intensity and quality on the pitch [from then], we would have had a big chance to win this game.”
Next up for the Fleet is a break from the league against Cray Wanderers in the FA Trophy, but it’s a swift return when we visit Oxford City on Tuesday.
“I would rather play a league game on Saturday and perhaps the cup game on Tuesday but we have seven days where we can go at Oxford, a tough opponent as well. They’re a good team, I really like what they do there, they try to play football as well.”