Some players lacked heart, says Kettering boss Baillie

Poppies boss Thomas Baillie (right) pictured with his assistant-manager Dean Thomas
Poppies boss Thomas Baillie (right) pictured with his assistant-manager Dean Thomas
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Thomas Baillie believes some of his Kettering Town players didn’t show “the heart” as they suffered another hammering in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.

The Poppies’ latest defeat saw them collapse to a 6-2 loss to St Albans City at Steel Park after they had only trailed 2-1 at half-time.

Baillie’s men performed pretty well in the opening period and were, perhaps, unfortunate not to be on level terms after they created numerous opportunities.

But Henry Eze’s own-goal early in the second half was the catalyst for a spectacular collapse and the defeat leaves them now just two or maybe three games away from having their relegation from the division confirmed.

They are back in action at Corby Town’s home ground against Barwell on Sunday but Baillie believes there will need to be a few “conversations” before then after what he and a record low home crowd of just 154 witnessed on Wednesday night.

The Kettering boss said: “We have all gone through how we are restricted in so many ways but you just can’t legislate for the mistakes they made, it is ridiculous. We gifted them a number of their goals because of basic errors.

“We were 2-1 down at half-time and we had created opportunities and we genuinely thought we could go on and get something from the game.

“The own-goal early in the second half took the wind out of the lads’ sails because at half-time they were buoyant about getting something from it.

“We have chatted to them and there are people who have to look at what is going on. They aren’t stupid and the lads who have made mistakes were sitting there with their heads in their hands. What do you say? There is no point ranting and raving. They know what happened.

“Collectively, they had the opportunity at half-time to come out and do something but the fight went out of them after the third goal.

“There needs to be some conversations about things now. Ritchie Jeune is putting himself on the line for the club and the players are receiving some money, even if it isn’t a lot, and there is the likes of myself and Dean (Thomas) who are doing it for nothing.

“They have got to show us they have the heart and some of them didn’t.”

Baillie, meanwhile, admitted he had some sympathy for defender Eze who was guilty of a mis-placed header back towards his own goalkeeper that gifted St Albans their second goal before scoring an own-goal.

“I have some sympathy for Henry because he has been a good player for us and because he made those mistakes, he tried harder to put it right,” Baillie added.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, he will be one of the names on the team-sheet for Sunday.

“It wasn’t just him on Wednesday. You win and lose as a team and we were all very disappointed with what happened.”