WAYNE Goodison concedes 1874 Northwich have yet to get into their groove in the North West Counties League this season.

They followed a derby defeat against Runcorn Linnets last weekend by throwing away a two-goal lead during a draw with Congleton on Tuesday night.

A trip to Widnes awaits this afternoon, kick-off 3pm.

After playing twice as many matches in knockout competitions to date than Premier Division games, the co-manager insists it is inevitable their campaign has not gathered momentum.

“You’re in a bubble during a cup run,” said Goodison.

“And while you stay there it’s impossible to get any consistency in terms of league results.

“It’s October, but we haven’t yet adjusted to that routine of trying to collect points every Saturday and Tuesday.

“We will do, and this week provides a first opportunity.”

He told the Guardian that last Saturday’s reverse revealed his side was fatigued mentally from their exertions in an FA Cup third qualifying round replay at Ossett Town.

1874 bowed out after a penalty shoot-out, and Linnets exploited their vulnerability.

Goodison said: “They were better than us on the day, no question.

“I don’t think we were as bad as the result might suggest, but little things cost us.

“There was a lack of sharpness, and we gave them a helping hand on a couple of their goals.

“We did get better though, and didn’t throw in the towel despite being 3-0 down at half-time.”

He was more upset by a tie with Congleton, who scored twice in the final quarter of an hour to cancel out Scott McGowan’s first-half double.

It leaves 1874, who have played only six league games, occupying 18th place in the table.

“We were upset [on Tuesday] because for an hour we were terrific,” added Northwich’s joint-manager.

“They couldn’t handle us, and we probably should have been further in front by half-time.

“There was no other option for them than to throw men forward, and we didn’t manage the game in the way we should.

“That’s something we have to learn, and we will.”

Goodison and Paul Bowyer have another attacking option this afternoon after signing forward Aidan Haughton.

He returns to St Luke’s Barton Stadium, on dual-registration terms from Northern Premier League side Kidsgrove, for a second spell after making a handful of appearances a couple of years ago.

However midfielder Jake Parker is ruled out by a suspension.