Macclesfield boss Sol Campbell was left exasperated by some of the “silly mistakes” his players made during their 3-1 defeat to Northampton.
The Silkmen edged a scrappy first half as Harry Smith cancelled out Dean Bowditch’s opener but they were architects of their own downfall in the second period.
Nathan Cameron’s short back header allowed Daniel Powell to put Northampton back in front before Elliott Durrell lost possession as Junior Morias made it 3-1.
The defeat keeps Macclesfield just two points outside the relegation zone in League Two.
Campbell said: “They didn’t do much to beat us 3-1 but our silly mistakes have allowed them to win the game.
“The first goal he’s in the box by himself, the second is a mess and the other one we should have cleared the ball and if you make those mistakes you’re not going to win many games.
“It’s not acceptable. It’s really basic stuff and we should be a lot better than that because there wasn’t much in the game.
“If they played us off the park, I’d have understood it but I’m coming away from that game wondering how we’ve lost it.
“We had a really good chance at 1-1 but it’s just silly mistakes and bad communication. We have to communicate better in vital areas and make the right decisions at the right time because we didn’t do that.
“We created chances and Harry took the goal really well but again it came down to communication. Generally we did OK but silly mistakes cost us.”
Northampton manager Keith Curle admitted his side were not at their best in recording a first victory in more than a month.
“We had to grind it out because we didn’t really have any fluidity in our play,” said Curle.
“There were some players who haven’t had regular game-time so there was some nervousness but it’s pleasing to produce a performance that merited a victory now we’re coming towards the end of the season.
“I was disappointed with the goal we conceded. It comes from our throw-in and again it’s things that we work on but the second half performance was better.
“We were content to pass and stand in the first half but we needed that movement and creativity in our play which I didn’t think we had.
“There were flashes of how we wanted to play but it’s still about simplicity. When a pass goes astray, don’t revert to type and start not wanting the ball.
“You have to trust in the process, believe in the process and get back on the ball. Too many times in the first half when we had possession we didn’t move enough and give options.”