Eastwood Town boss John Ramshaw says fans will have to expect more of the contrasting fortunes experienced by the club in recent weeks.
A run of three successive league wins was ended with a heavy 5-1 defeat at home to Buxton on Tuesday, with the Badgers having to once again field several youngsters in their starting line-up.
That decision was forced by a combination of player departures and injuries picked up in the 1-0 win at Matlock on Saturday, and with the club’s financial situation still precarious, Ramshaw believes he will have little choice but to field inexperienced teams again when necessary.
He said: “The budget now dictates that if our important players are injured or suspended then I have to call on reserve players who are used to a level of football a lot lower than the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
“With our strongest side available we can get results, as we’ve shown in recent weeks given the nine points in the last four league games, but once we lose one or two it becomes difficult.”
Deon Meikle left the club for Grantham Town last week and Jermaine Hollis has signed for Scarborough, while long-term injuries to Grant Ryan, Jevaise Christie and Paul Riley have also left Eastwood with fewer options.
Ramshaw added: “Grant and Jevaise have cruciate injuries and will be out for the forseeable future, with Paul Riley probably missing for another month.
“We then lost Mitch Hanson early in Saturday’s game at Matlock which forced him to miss the Buxton game, though I’m hopeful he’ll be fit for the visit of Nantwich on Saturday.
“But we’ve brought in Jay Smedley from Spalding and Michael Ricketts from Barwell, both on loan and with their parent clubs paying their wages as they’re keen to see them get some minutes - particularly Jay who has been out injured all season so far.
“Right now it’s all about losing the expensive players and finding cheaper ones.”
Regarding the last two games, Ramshaw was in no doubt his side struggled, even in the win at Matlock.
He said: “We rode our luck a bit and had it been a boxing match we’d have lost on points, but we got the goal, dug in and defended well.
“Against Buxton it was men against boys, literally in some cases. Things finally caught up with us and the reserve lads struggled to cope with the kind of quality they were suddenly up against.”