IAN Street blamed distractions in defence for his side’s failure to beat Prescot Cables in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The hosts led 3-1 with five minutes left, only for late goals from Liam Dodd and former Witton Albion striker Neil Black to earn the Merseysiders a replay in midweek.
“I’m really disappointed,” said the 1874 Northwich manager.
“Defensive errors have cost us, and the manner in which we conceded wasn’t good enough.
“It boils down to desire; does a player want to win a header or a tackle badly enough? We didn’t, and got punished.”
The teams will meet again at Valerie Park on Tuesday, when Street says he expects his side to be sharper in mind as well as deed.
Goals from Michael Brandon, Matthew Beadle and Danny Thomas meant they twice had a two-goal advantage against their higher-ranked opponents.
Yet still they did not secure a first qualifying round encounter with FC United of Manchester.
Street said: “We didn’t feel threatened at all.
“Perhaps the players thought it was job done at 2-0 and then 3-1, but that’s the worst possible thing to do in a football match.
“That said, it was mistakes – more than complacency – that made the difference.
“I felt we’d been in control for most of the game before that without ever being at our best. We were in second gear for long periods.”
The former Winsford United boss believes 1874 are still worthy contenders to progress.
However they will need to improve to knock out opponents who made it through the same stage last season following a replay against opponents from the North West Counties League.
Street said: “We’re confident.
“We expected to beat Prescot first time around, now we’ve got to do it on Tuesday.
“We’ll need to be sharper, and to show a bit more enthusiasm. A couple of individuals didn’t do as much as they should, but I don’t plan to make wholesale changes.”
Kick off on Tuesday is 7.45pm.
To read a report on Saturday's game, click here: http://bit.ly/1vWSN2p