IT IS rare for a manager to be "over the moon" with a team's effort and application after a 4-1 defeat at home.
But that was the case for Sean Joyce on Saturday after Bideford were beaten by Cambridge City in the Calor League.
An impressive Cambridge side moved above the Robins and into third place with a ruthless display at the Sports Ground.
Joyce felt the scoreline was harsh on his team after another high-tempo performance.
"Apart from the first 15 minutes when we sat too deep, I thought we dominated," he said. "To come away with nothing is scandalous.
"We can't get too down. We created a lot less last week and won 3-1. I'm over the moon in a way."
The manager is concerned, however, about Bideford's recent habit of starting slowly.
They fought back from 2-0 down to draw with Banbury United and beat Burnham 3-1 last week after falling behind. Against Cambridge, though, a two-goal deficit proved too big a gap.
"In the last three games we have given teams starts and we are not that good," said Joyce. "We can't keep pulling the rabbit out of the hat."
Even when they were trailing 4-0, Bideford continued to play positively, throwing players forward in an attempt to close the gap.
"I'll never die not knowing," said Joyce. "I'll not just sit back and close it out and accept a 2-0.You might as well get beaten by seven or eight."
Bideford missed the pace of loan signing Ashley Yeoman against Cambridge. He pulled a hamstring training with Torquay United and could be out for two weeks.
Craig Duff returned on Saturday and will be eager to get his season going again after missing six of the last seven games through suspension and a calf injury.
Bideford have no fixture on Saturday because scheduled opponents St Albans City are playing Cambridge United in the FA Carlsberg Trophy.
The next game for the Robins in the Calor League is at 12th-placed Redditch United on Monday.