MANAGER Carl Heeley says Worcester City's impressive defensive record has come at the price of not scoring enough goals.
Despite losing 4-0 at Hednesford Town on Easter Monday, their heaviest defeat since the 6-1 loss at Bradford Park Avenue in January, the 15th-placed Blue and Whites have still only conceded the same number of goals as Skrill North leaders Telford United.
That stubborn streak has been enough to preserve their league status for another season, even though they have scored the fewest goals in the division.
Manager Carl Heeley says it has been a cause for concern but admits the defence was top priority.
He said: "When you look at the goals for column it doesn't tell any lies and you can see that in our play.
"If you take Daniel Nti and Ethan Moore out, nobody else has scored enough goals collectively and that's been shining out.
"We set up to be difficult to beat because we felt that would get is over the line and it has done. The bottom line is we can't afford to have the quality at both ends of the pitch so we've had to make do."
He continued: "The disappointing thing for us is once we get ourselves in front we're a difficult team to peg back but all too often we can't get a goal. You can't keep looking at defenders, eventually they're going to get breached."
City held out for an hour at Keys Park before promotion hopefuls Hednesford broke the deadlock and added three more in the last 13 minutes.
The visitors also finished the match with 10 men after final substitute Danny Edwards limped off with a suspected broken ankle.
Heeley said: "There was nothing in the game in the first-half but Hednesford were the better team in the second-half.
"It was a very scrappy game and we went behind to a great strike. The second goal was a little bit of a killer for us and then it all went wrong. The two late goals probably gave an unfair reflection on the game."
He added: "It's been a mentally draining season and we looked tired, certainly in the last 20 minutes."