Mark West admitted they simply cannot compete with some of the top sides after his Thame United side lost 3-0 to second-placed Wantage Town.
The United boss remains upbeat despite Thame now four games without a victory having previously won six on the spin.
He said: “We have played some good teams recently and we can’t compete with some of them.
“Two of those four will end up being the top two.
“We had a good run to get to where we were but to compete with teams that pay good money is unrealistic.”
United held Town until the second half before the visitors scored on the break and West’s side were denied a spot kick by the referee.
“We should have had a penalty,” West said.
“But when you’re at the top, you tend to get those decisions.
“Whether the ref is right or wrong, he’s always right.”
West is looking forward to welcoming back three players from suspension after Saturday’s away match with Abingdon United (3pm KO).
The Thame boss also said an appeal against their four dismissals in the red-mist Highworth Town fixture is ‘not worth it’.