Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade got the tough game he expected against Darlington 1883 on Monday.
“When you looked at the calendar after the fixtures are announced and you see Darlington away on Bank Holiday Monday in front of a passionate crowd, you know it’s going to be difficult,” he said.
The home side won 2-1, coming from behind after the Spartans had taken the lead early in the second half.
Wade added: “I thought we looked a very good side in the first half and that we dominated the game. But when Stephen Turnbull was unable to continue after the break we missed him.
“To be honest, our goal was against the run of play but we should ideally then have gone on to another level.
“Their subs made the difference for them, while I might have got our substitutions wrong and the two goals gave them real momentum, but we could easily have got a draw with chances at the end and good ones before half-time too.
“McHugh, in our goal, hardly had to make a save whereas their keeper made some vital contributions.”
With regard to the seven bookings his side picked up, Wade said: “I thought each side should only have received about two each.
“I can only think of a couple of bad tackles in the whole game.”
Spartans now turn their attention to the visit of Stamford to Croft Park on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
They follow that up with a trip to Salford City on Tuesday, September 8, kick-off 7.45pm.
Stamford are currently in 17th place in the table, having picked up two wins from their opening five fixtures. They have conceded the most goals in the league, 17, but are only one behind the division’s top scorers, Nantwich Town, with 16.