Manager Quentin Townsend could not hide his frustration at what he described as the “Jekyll and Hyde character” of his Saints team who, despite taking an early lead, went down 2-1 at Nuneaton Griff, writes David Hucker.
Brad Rees had given Saints a 14th-minute advantage but Luke Shorthouse struck with two second-half goals to give the home side victory.
“Again, we put ourselves into a favourable position when going into the break a goal up, only to be outdone in a poor second half,” said Townsend.
“We seem to be a side that gets very negative when we concede a goal and that is a habit we need to eradicate quickly.”
With both Louis Bridges and Pawel Tomczak missing, Oli Manoochehri was recalled to the attack while full-back Jack Brighton, signed from Worcester City, made his debut.
Saints suffered an early blow when, for the second week running, midfielder Jamie Hatfield limped off and was replaced by Matty Wyatt.
But the match turned in their favour just a minute later as Manoochehri pulled the ball back for Rees to fire them into the lead.
Manoochehri almost doubled the advantage in the 28th minute, but his shot from an acute angle was cleared off the line.
Griff were back in contention early in the second half when Luke Shorthouse turned and shot past Tom Cross.
They should have got a second when Jake Brown cut inside Michael Clough, but Cross parried his shot and, with the goal at his mercy, Brown put his second effort over the bar.
With nine minutes to go, substitute Steve Thomas was through, but could not capitalise, shooting too near keeper Alex Horton.
Griff got the ball in the net again, but it was ruled out for offside and then, with the clock ticking down, Shorthouse converted a cross from Adam Russell to deny Saints a share of the spoils.
Despite his disappointment at the result, Townsend took some positives from the match in the performances of his two Worcester City recruits, Josh Smith and Jack Brighton, whom he described as “excellent”.
For the first time this season, he will have a full squad to select from tomorrow for the visit of Pelsall Villa (3pm).
Racing Club Warwick moved into mid-table in Division One with a 4-2 win at Studley.
Ryan Langmead scored twice for Racers, with Tez Morton and Jake Brown also on the scoresheet for Michael Hayden’s side, who entertain Hinckley tomorrow (3pm).