FC United boss Karl Marginson insisted his fallen FA Cup heroes will soon be riding high again in the league despite suffering a ninth defeat in their last 12 Evo-Stik Premier outings in losing 1-0 to leaders FC Halifax Town at Gigg Lane.
The Rebels’ hopes of bouncing back from their Cup exit to Brighton with a much-needed victory were dashed as FC old boy Simon Garner struck to give the table-topping visitors three more points towards their title crusade.
The single-goal loss sees FC slip to next-to-bottom and, despite them having plenty of games in hand on almost all the teams above them, they now face an enormous challenge if they're to achieve their target of a place in the promotion play-offs.
But, buoyed by his team’s battling performance against the table-topping Tykes, Marginson is adamant United will soon be heading in the right direction, saying: "If we keep playing with that level of endeavour, we'll be fine.
"Halifax are comfortably top of the league but we more than matched them throughout and can consider ourselves highly unfortunate not to have come out of the game with at least a draw.
"Obviously, we left ourselves open at the end when we were chasing an equaliser and they had a few good breaks, but, apart from that, we were rarely troubled.
"At the other end, we created several openings and were denied a good penalty shout. Overall, I thought we were excellent."
The only goal arrived on 53 minutes as Garner escaped FC’s defence to head home half-time substitute Scott Metcalf's inswinging cross from close range.
The Rebels had earlier had a let off when Scott Phelan fired against a post but were then left appealing in vain for a penalty after Carlos Roca appeared to have been upended in the box.
Matthew Wolfenden, making his first league start for United, was a constant threat to Halifax but wasted a chance to put the hosts in front when he dragged his shot agonisingly wide after being freed by Roca.
Wolfenden also had FC’s best opportunity to equalise, only to be denied by Liam Hogan’s goalline clearance as the visitors held on.