Hemel Hempstead Town manager Dean Brennan slammed his side’s ‘defensive ill-discipline’ after watching them throw away a 3-0 lead in a 5-5 draw with 10-man Weston-Super-Mare.
In a goal-crazy encounter at Vauxhall Road, Hemel led three times at 3-0, 4-2 and 5-4, but on each occasion they were unable to prevent Weston from finding a way back into the game.
Our defensive ill-discipline is terrible and it is disrespectful to the coaching staff if I’m being honest.Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan
“We were excellent going forward at times and I thought the front three were all excellent, but I thought the back seven or eight were terrible,” said Brennan. “It’s that simple. Individual errors have cost us again.
“Our defensive ill-discipline is terrible and it is disrespectful to the coaching staff if I’m being honest. The players know that, I don’t need to scream and shout at them because we watch the videos and we’ve been over, and over and over it again.
“We were terrible defensively and good going forward at times, so what can you do? Full credit to the opposition, they play good football and they are a good side but they’ve got the same issues we have – they can’t defend either.
“We started well to go 3-0 up but our indiscipline in midfield and our gung-ho approach really cost us and let them get back into the game. I thought our central midfield just wasn’t good enough and they got outplayed.
“Even when we were 5-4 up and they went down to 10 men, I said to Stuart (Maynard, assistant manager) that they would score one. So we went five at the back and four in midfield but they still got the equaliser.”
Hemel have been plagued by injuries all season, and were without a number of key players yesterday – including Dennis Oli, Jamie Slabber and Ed Asafu-Adjaye – which Brennan felt played a major part in his side’s inability to win the game.
“We had four changes again to the team which doesn’t help,” he said. “It’s been a crazy time for the club and a lot of our key players are missing. That instability is going to make you concede goals, and that’s what has happened.
“Our squad just isn’t strong enough at the moment and the depth of the squad just isn’t there. What can we do? It’s a frustrating afternoon for everybody because we need stability and consistency in selection to be able to get clean sheets and we don’t have enough of those.
“At 3-0 up we should have seen the game out, but this is football and this is why we love the game so much. It’s got those ups and downs and those emotions.”
Hemel are still firmly involved in the battle for a playoff place, but Brennan knows that his side must start turning draws into wins – especially against teams struggling at the bottom end of the table.
“No disrespect to Hayes and no disrespect to Weston-Super-Mare but we have dropped four points in the last two games,” he said. “It just isn’t good enough and we are where we are for a reason.
“We haven’t got the resources to just go out there and get three or four new players, so we have got to keep searching and trying to strengthen the squad. It’s all we can do.
“We’ve got Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday which will be a much tougher test than we’ve had today, I’ve no doubt.
“Bishop’s Stortford are a tough side who are very hard to beat and very well-organised. The manager knows this division very, very well and at the moment I don’t have a clue who we will have available so I don’t know what our gameplan is going to be.”