WITTON Albion’s players are not downbeat despite losing their first two games of the season, manager Brian Pritchard has claimed.

His side lost 2-1 at Rushall Olympic on Tuesday night, succumbing to Aaron Farrell’s winner in the second half after Scott Bakkor’s goal had cancelled out Carl Palmer’s opener.

Albion were beaten three times last term too before scoring a point.

“We know it’s not a great start,” conceded Pritchard.

“But I’m feeling more positive after seeing a performance that was miles better [than in Saturday’s game against Ilkeston].

“There was a lot of fight from the group, but individual errors have cost us and that’s something we have to cut out.

“We’re not adrift, nor have many teams got off to a flying start.”

The Pics, victors against Witton in both league meetings last season, took the lead when Palmer intercepted Anthony Gardner’s weak back-pass before shooting past Chris Sanna.

Albion were level again after an hour when Bakkor raced onto Neil Harvey’s cushioned header to score his second goal of the week.

However Rushall, under new boss Richard Sneekes, made safe the points when substitute Ryan Winwood supplied a pass for Farrell after reacting quickly Cliff Moyo’s wayward header.

Pritchard said: “We’ve been undone by mistakes.

“There was a wobble after they scored first, but we came back from that and got a great goal of our own. Scott’s finish was fantastic.

“We had other chances, as well as a decent shout for a penalty, but they’ll argue the same most probably.

“That’s back-to-back defeats, which is disappointing.

“But we’re not feeling sorry for ourselves, nor does it mean a group full of winners – like ours is – has suddenly lost its way.”

He told the Guardian that newly-appointed captain Sam Barnes is expected to make his debut at Workington this Saturday.

Alex Titchiner appeared as a substitute briefly at Rushall, but is not ready yet to play more than a few minutes.

Michael Powell, a longer-term absentee, is awaiting a scan on the knee he injured during a pre-season friendly at Runcorn Town.