Whitby Town crashed to a 4-0 hammering on Saturday after a trip to Cumbria to face Workington. Paul Connolly takes us through five things we learned from the defeat.
1) Ideas in the final third are still lacking
It has been a gripe of Whitby fans for a long time, and it continues to breed concern.
Despite playing their usual style of play in the first half, Whitby struggled to break down the Workington rearguard.
Matty Tymon and Steven Snaith struggled to find openings, whilst Dale Hopson struggled to find his way through the park, leading to a frustrating afternoon for the 19-goal playmaker.
Whitby's only joy was coming from their wing-backs at set pieces, with good deliveries, but only Luke Bythway threatened the Reds when getting on the end of them.
2) Defensively, Whitby need to be better
Playing out from the back is causing consistent problems at the moment.
Again, Whitby were punished for it, on Saturday, for Workington’s second goal.
On the whole, though, Whitby’s defensive play was poor at times and led to goals. Kieran Weledji was turned too easily for one goal, with Callum Martin also being caught out of position on occasions.
Andrew May wasn't included in the matchday squad, but Chris Hardy will undoubtedly to looking to his protégé 'Rio' when Skelmersdale United visit, on Saturday, to shore up his defensive options.
3) The pitch is a leveller, but not on this occasion
Despite a soft pitch at Borough Park, Whitby still managed to execute their passing game in the first half, although with little success, so the pitch cannot be blamed for this defeat.
In the second half, this wasn't the case, as Workington were effective and stopped the Blues pushing out.
In truth, the pitch held well despite the weather and was easily playable for Whitby.
The side looked disjointed on occasions and only the lacklustre display can be blamed.
4) Away form must improve
In the Blues’ last seven away outings, they have picked up just four points from a possible 21.
Saturday was another woeful showing on the road from Hardy’s men, creating cause for concern in terms of his side’s play-off credentials.
With the goal difference taking a massive hit, and Whitby displaying little quality on their offensive play, the Blues are dangerously close to slipping out of the play-off places, somewhere they've only been for two weeks of this campaign.
A positive for Whitby is that seven of the next 11 matches are at the Turnbull Ground, giving them a chance to take on play-off contenders in a familiar setting.
5) Not many can emerge with credit
In truth, this was potentially one of the worst performances that Town fans have been subjected to during Chris Hardy’s reign.
Whitby were consistently second-best from the outset and provided little in the way of hope for their travelling supporters.
A low point was a mid-game argument between Lee Bullock and Dale Hopson, who displayed an under-par showing.
One or two can emerge with credit. David Carson and Adam Gell were up against it in the middle of the park, but played to their best when they could.
Mark Robinson also put on a good display, despite the four goals, proving his quality at the heart of the back three.