Bourne Town manager Jimmy McDonnell and playmaker George Couzens were both uncompromising in their disappointment after a below-par performance against Woodford United.
The Wakes boss blamed poor use of possession, defensive lapses and a lack of concentration for a 4-1 defeat to a side who had only scored once in their previous three league matches.
But McDonnell’s most scathing words were reserved for the seven first team squad members who made “different excuses” for missing the game against the Reds.
“We were in the game and then bottled two 50-50s in the first half, they had two gos at taking a free kick and we got caught out both times,” McDonnell said.
“We all want to play the nice, pretty football but don’t want to do the ugly side of it.
“Sometimes, you’ve got to earn the right to do that and we don’t want to do that.
“But on the other hand, those lads all turned up to play and we had one lad who turned up and played the first half before he had to go to a wedding.
“On top of that, we had seven lads who rang up to say that they couldn’t make it because of weddings, birthdays, girlfriends and different excuses.
“To be honest, it’s got to stop because we’re either all in item or we forget about it.
“We’re not good enough to let seven first team squad members and yet it hits the nail on the head when our man of the match was Kai Willerton who has come in from the reserves.
I don’t think the score reflects the difference in the teams but, at the same time, I don’t think we deserved any more than what we got today because we weren’t on top of our gameBourne Town midfield playmaker George Couzens
“He was the best player on the park today and whilst I was pleased for him, if I was a first team squad player, I’d be looking at myself and saying ‘how has Kai come in and played a lot better than what I did today?”
Bourne could have posed more of a threat if better had use had been made of Couzens’ skill and the experience gained as youth team player at Norwich City.
Couzens, who played up front in the second half after Zak Munton was substituted, said: “In the first half, I didn’t think that we played too badly.
“But in the second half, we were a bit sloppy in places.
“When we played football, we looked like a different team than when we tried to go long.
“I don’t think the score reflects the difference in the teams but, at the same time, I don’t think we deserved any more than what we got today because we weren’t on top of our game.
“Things haven’t quite clicked for us yet this season and once we get into a winning mentality, we’ll be alright.
“We’ve got the players to do it and it’s just getting the defence to work with the midfield, the midfield to work with the strikers and then everything to work together.
“Sometimes, we miss the midfield out and once we do click, I think we’ll go up and up as the season goes on.”
MATCH VERDICT: Bourne Town hurt by absentees as Woodford United profit