Disappointed Melton Mowbray co-manager Matt Curtis believes the lack of recent game time hurt his side’s chances in the top-of-the-table clash with Sileby.
It was just their second league game of 2016 after six of their previous eight matches were postponed because of waterlogged or frozen pitches.
The 3-0 defeat left Melton trailing Steve Hendey’s league leaders by 19 points with six games in hand.
It also allowed second-placed Birstall United to move 12 points ahead, having played three games more.
“I think the amount of games that haven’t been played this year had a major bearing on us,” Curtis said. “We lacked the killer touch in front of goal.
“Coming into a big game like this wasn’t great timing; we could have done with two games beforehand.”
Sileby pipped Melton to the title last year, but both teams were denied promotion owing to ground regulations.
Melton’s imminent move to Burton Road should see them clear that hurdle this time around, but there remains much work to do on the pitch.
Yet Curtis insists there is still lots of time to make up the deficit with 15 games still to play, including the return trip to Sileby in April.
“We still have them to play again and there is still plenty of football to be played,” he added.