CRAIG GUPWELL was forced to rip up his plans at the last minute.
Then he was left powerless as Newmains’ defence was twice torn to shreds.
Co-manager Gupwell – who also played at the back – admitted it was an uphill battle from the start after he had to make two changes in the buildup to the clash.
Vale of Clyde netted a goal in either half and Gupwell said: “It was the same old story of late call-offs causing selection problems and limiting tactical changes from the bench.
“We turned up after someone pulled out on Friday night then we had another player say they weren’t able to make it on Saturday morning.
“All of that meant we had to make a late tactical reshuffle.
“We huffed and puffed our way through the game and just lacked a bit of quality when it came to the final ball.
“In all honesty we never really troubled The Vale’s defence or their keeper.”
United now travel to fourth-placed Ashfield for their fourth away game in a row this Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
But four of their final six games of the season after that are at their Victoria Park pitch.
Gupwell said: “We have seven games of the season left and we really need to regroup and all pull in the same direction to make it a successful finish to the season.
“The boys are clearly hurting just now and the only way to get the feelgood factor back is by turning up and working hard this week at training then taking it into next week’s game away to Ashfield.
“We have enough quality in our squad to challenge any team in our league and I think the boys just need to believe in themselves a bit more.”