Stanley boss John Coleman admitted he was a worried man after his side lost 1-0 at Blue Square Bet Premier Stockport on Saturday.
Sean McConville came back to haunt his former club, scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute.
The Reds had fielded a strong opening XI, containing only one trialist in Irish Under-21 midfielder, Padraig Hammond.
And Coleman admitted he expected better from his side.
"I learned a lot as we were poor, they battled hard and fair play to them.
"We were very disjointed, we haven’t worked on our defence and it showed," he said, with the backline of keeper Ian Dunbavin, left-back Kevin McIntyre, centre-backs Sean Hessey and Kern Miller and right-back Dean Winnard.
Luke Joyce and Andy Procter played in front of them in Coleman’s 4-2-3-1 formation that had served the Reds so well in the last campaign.
Coleman continued: "We looked a bit hesitant at times and although we didn’t give too many chances up and the keepers weren’t overly worked, we were very loose at the back and then that led to us being loose all over the park and we never really got going.
"I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried because I am. That was unacceptable from my point of view. We have to be better than that.
"And, no disrespect to Stockport, we are going to play against better opposition this week and if we don’t get our finger out it is going to be the start of a long, hard season."
Hammond and Ian Craney both had chances but couldn’t get past County stopper Matt Glennon.
"We had the four best chances of the game, the keeper has made a couple of good saves but you expect us to do better," continued Coleman.
"But I am more conerned about the general overall level of our performance.
"Forget the result – although I don’t like the feeling of getting beaten – but we didn’t perform how we can."
The crucial moment came when new signing Kurtis Guthrie tried a back flick in the area and lost the ball, leaving Dunbavin little choice but to rush out and McConville, who turned down the offer of a new contract for the Reds to sign for County, tried to take the ball around him and won the penalty.
"It did look a penalty but I don’t think Kurtis will be under any illusions that you don’t do that in the box," fumed Coleman. "You might get away with that in Jersey but you don’t get away with that over here.
"Sean has been clever but we know all about that."
Guthrie didn’t last long after that, replaced by pacy ex-Coventry frontman Joel Grandison, who was trying to win a contract with the Reds.
While he didn’t trouble the County goal, he looked strong and other substitutes included Danny Pilkington, brother of Norwich’s Anthony, Steve Johnson and Accrington and Rossendale College student Nat Taylor, who was recommended by former Stanley coach Paul Lodge.
Coleman admitted: "We have already set a couple of loan players in motion and we will have to wait and see. We have to work on our shape and educate these players on how to play."
STANLEY: Dunbavin (Murdoch 46), Winnard, McIntyre, Hessey (Burton 88), Miller, Procter, Hammond (Pilkington 69), Barnett (Johnson 57), Guthrie (Grandison 37), Craney (Taylor 84), Joyce. Subs: Lindfield, Murphy, Walker.