Harrogate Railway boss Marlon Adams described Saturday’s 5-1 defeat to AFC Mansfield as “horrible to watch.”
The men from Station View actually took an early lead against the NCEL Premier Division’s runaway leaders, but then conceded five times without reply, much to the frustration of their manager.
“We looked good for 10 minutes and went in front, but then it all went to pot,” Adams reflected.
“We don’t know how to defend as a unit and we’ve capitulated. A 5-1 scoreline was a fair reflection. It was horrible to watch.
“We did play some decent football at times and we always look a threat going forwards, but we can’t keep letting in so many goals.
“We’ve worked on our defensive shape in training, but doing it in matches is totally different. We need to make changes at the back and start defending better as a team.”
Railway made a bright start to Saturday’s contest and young winger Nathan Merchant set up striker Dan O’Donnell to sidefoot the visitors into a fourth-minute lead.
Connor Smythe got the Bulls back on terms after a quarter of an hour with the away defence appealing in vain for an offside flag that never came.
Jimmy Ghaichem then put Mansfield ahead and Oliver Fearon made it 3-1 just moments before half-time.
Fearon’s second of the afternoon arrived only three minutes after the resumption, ending the game as a contest.
The Bulls striker then completed his hat-trick shortly after the hour-mark, poking the ball past Railway gloveman James Webster.
Next up for Adams’ side is a six-pointer with relegation rivals Barton Town Old Boys on Saturday.
Barton sit one point and one place above Railway in the Premier Division standings, meaning that victory for the Starbeck club would take them out of the relegation zone, but defeat would leave them four points adrfit of safety.
“It’s a pretty huge match, we’ve got to go there and take the game to Barton,” Adams added.
“I think that we are good enough to beat them and get oursevles out of the relegation places.
“Three points is a must for us. We need to get a run going again.”