St Albans City boss David Howell has called for his senior players to do more for the team after their promotion hopes suffered another setback.
The Saints crashed to a 3-2 home defeat to Weymouth on Saturday which was their fifth loss in the Evostik Premier Division this season.
Howell was looking for his more experienced players, such as Barry Hayles and Micah Hyde, to help out the side in adversity and was disappointed with their contribution in their latest defeat.
Howell, whose side host Bedford Town tonight, said: “I was just disappointed with the start. I was disappointed with some of the senior players we’ve got here. On a day like today when we're not playing well I would just like them to get the group together and make sure we do the basics right. I don’t think we did that.
“I can think of errors my senior players made at wrong times and you just can't do that against any side.
“Weymouth are a side that work hard and are organised and you can’t afford to give them anything. I felt if the penalty had gone in maybe we would have gone on from there but as it happened we didn’t and it was a very long afternoon.
“I’m looking for my senior players to do what is required. When things aren’t going well for us and we’re not firing on all cylinders, I’m expecting the experienced players to do the right thing and they didn’t.”
Mark Ford headed the visitors into the lead before defender Curtis Ujah quickly grabbed an equaliser. But a mistake from Ujah enabled Ben Joyce to restore Weymouth's advantage.
Juan Onieva became the first Spaniard to score for the Saints when he netted their second after the restart.
But St Albans wasted the chance to take the lead when Hayles’ penalty was saved by Simon Evans and the follow up strike by the veteran forward went wide.
City were punished for the miss when Ford netted the winning goal in the 84th minute at Clarence Park.
Howell admitted: “I don’t think we played very well. I think one of the key turning points was the penalty miss at 2-2.
“We’d just got back into the game and then got the penalty. At that point we were going in the right direction. It seemed like a bad miss and it deflated the team because after that there seemed to be too much space on the park and they were picking up a lot of second balls.
“It was just disappointing with the goals we gave away. The first goal was a corner we didn’t clear away properly. The second goal was just ridiculous.
“We got ourselves back into the game through Curtis and then a miskick from him which you can’t legislate for. The third goal was a poor goal to give away and at a bad time as well.”
The one consolation for the Saints was another impressive performance from winger Sean Shields who set up both goals.
Howell, whose side travel to struggling Bideford this weekend, said: “We wanted Sean and Chris [Henry] to get on the ball but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out. I thought early on Chris looked like he was going to show something but never really got going and chose the wrong option or got caught in possession.
“Sean on the other side has come on from that, learnt a lot and probably been our main provider and popped and scored a few.
“He did well for the equaliser. Sean needs to get on the ball and we need to get him on the ball because he’s very instrumental in what we do. When we don’t and try other options that’s not us and not how we’re set out to play.”
All members are invited to attend the Annual General meeting (AGM) of the Saints City Trust. This will be held at the Saints Bar on Thursday at 7:30pm.