Alfreton Town boss says he has been embarrassed by his players after they slumped to their fourth straight defeat.
The Reds squandered a two goal half-time lead at FC United of Manchester on Tuesday night thanks to an abject second half performance.
The outcome both angered and embarrassed manager John McDermott, who described his side as “Jekyll and Hyde” after conceding two very late goals, with the equaliser coming from a needlessly conceded penalty in the 87th minute.
“We went in, we came off the pitch - went in at half-time - l don’t know what happened between me telling them if anything we needed to tighten it up in certain areas, not see the game out, but tighten up and we’d be alright,” he said.
“For some reason they wanted to do something else - they’ve gone out and done something else, and blame someone else, and we just collapsed.
“The first goal was a poor goal - it’s a problem we’ve had all season - it’s in our box and we cannot defend our box and we’re meant to have one of the best back fours or back threes in the league.
“My players get good money - they get looked after - for the size of this club - and that’s embarrassing - l’m embarrassed for them - l’m embarrassed that they’ve made the club a bit of a laughing stock tonight and l’m really hurt and angry.
“People have travelled here to witness that - first half great, but no-one wins a game at half-time - l’ve been here before with Harrogate Town where l’ve been 3-0 up and lost 4-3 and l warned them they’ll come out, keep it tight, but no - we want to do something else - clear the ball? - no we’ve headed it across our own goal and not for the first time it’s gone in.
“We should go again, but no they’ve stopped working, they’ve put pressure on the ball and a stupid, stupid penalty - the ball’s not going anywhere and they want to dive in and try and win it.
“We had a chance to clear the third goal the ball’s gone out wide, again they’re going nowhere, but he turns his man like he’s turning a bus, and to be fair but for Chris [Elliott] they could have had five - l thought they were excellent and l thought we were an absolute joke.
“l don’t like to slag players off to the press but tonight l’m hurt.”
lt all looked to be going so well for the Reds as Craig Westcarr met Tom Platt’s long throw with a clinical back post header in the 22nd minute.
Then in the second minute of stoppage time in the first half Brendon Daniels unleashed a venomous free-kick from just outside the area that almost ripped the back of the net off, despite a deflection en route and a touch by keeper Lloyd Allinson.
FC to their credit though had reduced the deficit by the 49th minute with a simple finish by Kieran Glynn following a left-wing corner.
Then the hosts pressed forward relentlessly with Elliott making saves from Jason Gilchrist and Joel Logan before parrying a Gilchrist free-kick at the expense of an 80th minute corner, and then making a great save from Glynn as the delivery homed in.
Three minutes from time a needless penalty was conceded, with Glynn going away from goal, which allowed Gilchrist to draw United level at 2-2 from the spot, but there was worse to come in the last minute of normal time when Logan cut in from the right and found the net from an acute angle.
FC UNITED: Allinson; Senior, Fagbola [Corbett 61], Kay, Baird, Hughes, Glynn, lrwin [Palmer 71], Greaves [Lindfield 79], Gilchrist, Logan.
SUBS: McCarthy, Walker.
ALFRETON: Elliott; Topliss, Shiels, Allan, Priestley, Keane [Everington 77], Platt, Wood, Disley [Marshall 69], Daniels, Westcarr [Robertson 69].
SUBS: Johnson, Sharif.
REF: David McNamara.