Robbie Mason blasted his Soham Town Rangers side after their 4-1 thrashing at home to Dereham Town on New Year’s Day, saying they ‘should be embarrassed’.
The manager strongly criticised the performance of his Bostik League North Division side, claiming he has been ‘too soft on them’ before vowing that ‘will change’.
It was a game that started badly and only got worse, with the home side finding themselves a goal down in the first minute before seeing their goalkeeper Josh Pope sent to the showers early.
It was the latest of three red cards from their last two outings — although Pope’s 76th minute sending off was mitigated by their visitors also having a man sent off in the 58th minute.
But Mason said it was ‘naive’ play from a team he expected to demonstrate better decision making.
He said: “They should be embarrassed, that was not good enough. I think we’ve been too soft on them, that will change now, it’s time to go back to an old-school style — if you lose you run until we tell you to stop.
“The score reflects our mistakes, we gave at least three goals away.
“We had the better chances to punish and we didn’t capitalise, they did.
“It’s a harsh lesson on taking chances when they’re there but it’s the way it’s been for us this season, we keep getting punished for our errors while not taking advantage at the other end.
“Going down early doors always gives the other side a lift and we didn’t need that after 30 seconds, especially with the wet and windy conditions making it hard to play.
“But we should be more experienced than that, we defended very poorly.”
The game began badly for the side after Ryan Crisp netted almost straight from the kick-off, and the Greens never really got going.
Pope, who had a game he will hope to forget, saw yellow in the 27th minute before conceding a second in the 28th minute.
The home side had plenty of chances in attack but were outplayed three times on the counter. But, after Dereham’s third on the stroke of half-time looked ominous for the final scoreline, Jack Mochalski replied — taking advantage of a mix-up between the goalie and a defender.
Mason believes his side could still have come back with an early goal but it didn’t materialise, before Pope’s red card, penalty and the fourth-goal put the nail in the coffin.
Mason said: “Pope has played the game long enough to know that he didn’t need to go to ground, the player was going away from goal.
“I need to see a reaction on Saturday, it’s too easy for us to lose at the minute. We’ve been naive, it’s time to get our heads down and show that we want something from the season.”
The side travel to face Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday (3pm), hoping to overturn a three-match losing streak.
But it will not be easy against a side currently in second in the league. And Mason will not have several first choice players available as they serve three-match bans.
Meanwhile, their away fixture against Brentwood Town on Saturday, December 30 was postponed due to inclement weather.