Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law says his side's failure to take their chances is costing them dear.
The Reds were beaten 2-0 away against Gateshead on Tuesday.
Although it was only their second loss in 12, Law's side are just one point above the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation zone after a poor start.
"We know the problem. Too many games that have been 0-0 or 1-1 we've failed to put the ball in the net. It's an unforgiving league," he told BBC Sport.
"There are games we have dominated and should have been out of sight in, but we couldn't put the ball in the net and have got punished at the other end. We need to put teams to bed."
Law said his small squad are also struggling to cope with injuries and suspensions.
Influential defender Darran Kempson will not be fit for Friday's game against leaders Newport County, but Dan Bradley and Ben Tomlinson will be available again after missing the trip to the north east because of suspension.
"If we can get our fit eleven out there we are a match for anybody. But we are missing Kempson, Bradley and Tomlinson and it is difficult," said Law, who is also urging his side to be "brave" in possession.
He added: "It's easy to come back, go sideways and play square.
"I want people to be positive and not play on the back foot. I want defenders to get tight and not drop off, and that's about being brave and being positive."
Meanwhile, Alfreton have extended the youth loan of 18-year-old Leeds United central defender Ross Killock until 3 December.