Harrogate Railway conceded four times in the opening 40 minutes on their way to another heavy defeat, this time at Staveley Miners Welfare.
Wednesday evening’s 5-1 reverse was the club’s eighth consecutive NCEL Premier Division defeat in a run that has seen them ship a total of 36 goals.
“Once again the team we fielded was extremely inexperienced and we had three teenagers in the back four,” manager Ray Green said.
“We had so many players missing that we did well just to get a side out on the pitch at all.
“The majority of the senior first team lads who were registered at club when I took over have either left, been unavailable or been injured, and that’s made it really difficult.
“This was the case again at Staveley and we conceded some soft goals in the first half. They got three in the space of 18 minutes and it just knocked the stuffing out of us.”
Shaun Nesbitt put the hosts ahead at Inkersall Road after nine minutes and the lead was doubled soon afterwards when Callum Mawbey struck.
Steve Cartey’s 27th-minute effort stretched the scoreline to 3-0 before Mawbey’s second goal five minutes before the interval looked to have ended the game as a contest.
Young midfielder Ashar Bhogal pulled one back for the Railwaymen on the stroke of half-time when he calmly slotted home after being teed up by skipper Steve Bromley.
Green’s side produced a better performance in the second period, conceding only once when Albert Ibrahimi gave away possession and Tyla Bell ran through on goal and fired past substitute goalkeeper James Webster, a half-time replacement for Leon Wrigglesworth.
“Despite the scoreline and the result, I can take some positives from the game,” Green added.
“Yes, we’ve got to do better and these young players have a lot to learn, but their performance in the second half was really pleasing.
“We didn’t collapse like we did in our last game when we conceded eight at Hemsworth, we stuck in there and did the best we could.
“I was chuffed that Ashar got a goal, he deserved it and took his chance well.
“He was up against some big blokes in the centre of midfield and got knocked about a bit, but he kept going and made a real nuisance of himself.”
Railway remain 17th in the NCEL Premier Division standings despite the loss, but the gap between them and the relegation zone now stands at just nine points with six games left to play.