FC CLACTON boss Glenn Eldridge felt the score painted a false picture after seeing his side defeated 4-0 at home to runaway leaders Hadleigh United.
The Thurlow Nunn League pace-setters scored twice in each half to give the result a one-sided impression.
Clacton held their own and kept battling, hoping to build on Tuesday’s 1-0 win at neighbours Wivenhoe Town.
But they were punished for mistakes at the back as two late goals put the contest out of reach.
“The score was harsh and an unfair reflection,” said Eldridge, who was missing key players like the Clowsley brothers, Kyelan Marvell and Tom Holdstock.
“Lapses of concentration cost us for their first two goals, the third was down to quick-thinking and the fourth came after a mistake.
“We’re getting punished for these things but apart from that, they didn’t exactly open us up.
“People will see the score and think we played badly and got thumped, but that wasn’t the case.
“I wouldn’t say we were outplayed.
“It was a decent performance, with four first-teamers missing, and there were lots of positives."
Hadleigh took a tenth-minute lead when Ollie Canfer tapped in after Fowler blocked Duane Wright shot.
Paul Donnelly added a second on the half-hour mark, again from a close range, after a free-kick from deep on the right was nodded back across the danger zone.
Clacton then rolled their sleeves up and were getting on top when the third arrived ten minutes from time, thanks to a quickly-taken free-kick from Wright.
The fourth followed a couple of minutes later, in route one fashion.
A goal-kick was flicked on and substitute Josh Mayhew raced clear before lobbing Fowler.
Clacton’s best efforts came from Aaron Condon in the first half while new signing Mark Bailey, making his debut after joining from AFC Sudbury, went close with a late, speculative 25-yarder.