LATICS boss Harry Kewell conceded his side paid for their defensive frailties as they came out on the wrong side of seven-goal thriller at Forest Green.

Having hauled themselves back from 2-0 and 3-2 down they nearly did it again in dramatic fashion in stoppage time only for returning skipper Carl Piergianni’s header to come back off the post as Kewell’s side went down 4-3 at the New Lawn.

It was another night of mixed emotions as while clearly good enough in some areas to match a side who closed the gap on leaders Cambridge to one point, Latics paid for their glaring deficiencies at the back.

Some fine attacking play saw Conor McAleny score twice to take him to 16 goals for the season in all competitions with Bobby Grant also on target.

But as four of the seven goals came in 13 frantic second-half minutes, Latics have now shipped 50 in League Two this season meaning they sit 17th in the table.

“We were up against it and gave four poor, cheap goals away,” Kewell said. "I thought the referee had a poor game, but other than that you can’t concede four goals.

“We did enough to get something out of the game, it’s just one of those days.

“It’s disappointing and frustrating, but I know this team has much more in them. In the second half we tried everything.

“The players are disappointed – they’re human and we should have got something from the game, but you’ve got to suck it up.

“They will fight – all my teams will fight – but you have to do more than score goals to win matches, you have to defend as a team. One thing I know is these boys won’t give up.”