Dean Thomas slammed Kettering Town’s first-half performance as they slipped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at AFC Hayes in the Calor League Division One Central.
The Poppies boss was furious with his side’s defending in the opening period as their recent good run of form came to an end.
And while a better second-half display saw Scott Cross pull a goal back on his debut after signing from league leaders Daventry Town at the end of last week, the Kettering boss was left to lament some shocking defensive lapses, which ultimately proved costly for his team.
“It was a very poor performance in the first half,” Thomas said.
“We have made a lot of improvements recently but the fact is a lot of the players just weren’t at the races. And that isn’t down to a lack of ability, it is down to a lack of focus and concentration.
“From a defensive point of view, it was shocking. The goals we conceded were unacceptable.
“We shouldn’t be conceding goals as straightforward as the ones we did and it all comes down to concentration. I could not believe what I was watching.
“We can’t keep making the same mistakes because all we are doing is putting pressure on ourselves and there is no way we will always be able to come back from it.
“The second half was a big improvement. We scored a goal and we should have had a blatant penalty.
“But we threw the game away in the first half and if we carry on doing that, it will put us in a very difficult position.”
The Poppies are now without game in midweek after their scheduled Red Insure Cup clash with Daventry was called off with their opponents now having to play their FA Cup clash at Grays on Wednesday night after it was postponed on Sunday.
It means Thomas’ side’s next action will be in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy on Saturday when they entertain St Ives Town at Latimer Park.
“Hopefully what happened at the weekend was a one-off,” the Poppies boss added.
“We are conceding too many soft goals and that is something we must change.
“We are back in cup action at the weekend and I expect us to bounce back.”