Wetherby Athletic boss Mark Forster admitted his appearance in an orange shirt in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Wyke Wanderers did not reflect well on the club and the West Yorkshire League.
Forster was required to play the final six minutes of the fixture following goalscorer Will Peers’ injury, with his Wetherby squad down to the bare bones of availability.
Jon Maloney had earlier put the visitors ahead before Peers added a second to give Athletic a fifth win of the season.
Forster said: “The cold reality is that there’s no way I should be playing football at this level.
“I only registered myself at Oxenhope because we didn’t have any subs.
“When Will had to come, I wasn’t sure how much injury time the ref would play and I didn’t want the opposition to nick one, so I went up front and Jon Maloney dropped back into midfield.
“I don’t think it does Wetherby Athletic too many favours that we had to have a 51-year-old on the pitch.
Wetherby remained in eighth place in the Premier Division despite the victory but they were able to close the gap to fifth-placed Horbury Town, a position Forster has targeted this season.
Horbury were left stranded without a game on Saturday when Bardsey were unable to field a team for a second time this season.
Forster said the dressing room atmosphere on the Ings was the best he has known since arriving at the club.
The boss said: “It’s a really nice place to be at the moment but they all need to put their hands up and be fully committed.
“If we lose two or three on any given Saturday, it might cause us problems.”
The clean sheet was Wetherby’s fifth of the season so far, and Forster heaped praise on goalkeeper Liam Corbett for leading the tight ship at the back.
The 20-year-old has been given his chance this season after joining from Boroughbridge, and his mature performances have impressed his new gaffer.
“He has been fantastic for us this year,” added Forster.
“He came down last year but I had already settled on my three goalkeepers and I didn’t want to waste his time so he went back to Boroughbridge,
“There’s an awful lot of pressure on goalkeepers but the number of clean sheets has been so because of him.
“He will be one of the youngest goalkeepers in the league, but he has been terrific.
“Without him, we wouldn’t be in this position.”