Invicta Dynamos suffered a setback in their hopes of reeling in the leading clubs.
The Mos, with games in hand over the top four, were hoping to make up some ground with a weekend double header but were beaten twice.
A 9-4 away loss at Chelmsford Chieftains on Saturday was followed by a 2-1 home defeat against Solent Devils on Sunday. Both games doubled up as League and League Cup fixtures.
“We didn’t do ourselves any favours this weekend and ultimately we got the rewards that we deserved,” said frustrated head coach Karl Lennon.
“I know what the team is capable of but it is almost like they don’t realise what they are capable of themselves.
“We didn’t stick to what we had planned to do over the course of the week against both of these teams and in fact it was a great example of the effectiveness of both opposition as they played to distinct systems and it worked because they followed the coaches instructions. This week our guys didn’t. I could point the finger to many players that didn’t.
“There was only maybe less than a handful who could look at themselves at the end of the weekend happy with their performance and that’s not good enough because it’s a team sport and you need everyone to be pulling together and that wasn’t the case this weekend.”
The game at Chelmsford had been close, with the Mos closing the deficit to 4-3 early in the third period.
Lennon said: “That felt like a really good position to build from and honestly I felt we would go into a good space but it never materialised.
“As soon as we played well, we then went back to old problems again, and unnecessarily so and it was just frustrating and irritating because
“We were in the game until the last 10-15 against Chelmsford where we let in a string of poor goals, brought upon ourselves by poor positional play or poor decision making and they took confidence in their rink, which was busy and loud and we shrivelled up, they took full advantage of that and fair play to them because they deserved their win.”
Back at Planet Ice, Gillingham on Sunday, the Mos had the chance to make amends, but they let a 1-0 lead slip and lost it 2-1.
Lennon said: “They are a team that are very well prepared, coming to a place executing a system and getting a result, they have done that for years now, they did it to us first game of the season and they did it again, less effectively on Sunday night, because I thought we had huge periods of dominance in the game, but they were better at finishing things off and getting the job done and ultimately we just didn’t cope well with that.
“We started okay, 1-0 up, we seemed pretty solid, pretty competent and quite competitive, the second period we took the foot off it again, whenever the results are poor there is always that hesitancy that creeps in, and that ultimately is what happened on Sunday.”
The Mos conceded just before the end of the second period and the Devils had the momentum going into the third.
Lennon said: ”They went into the final break buoyant and we were deflated, and it’s frustrating. We just had to see out the period, come in and regroup.
“They had the momentum going into the third period, which we didn’t need to give them.”
Solent scored what turned out to be the winner early in the final period and there was to be no comeback from the Mos.