St Neots Town captain Luke Knight has been ordered to clean up his act.
Knight was sent off as Saints fell to a heavy 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Alvechurch in the Southern League Premier Division Central last Saturday.
Matt Clements’ side fell behind after 12 minutes and Knight’s first booking followed 10 minutes before the break following a flare-up in midfield.
And he was then dismissed six minutes into the second period following a fracas also involving team-mate Scott Sinclair and a member of the Alvechurch management team.
The visiting official was shown a red card with both Saints players cautioned – a punishment which in turn led to a second dismissal of the campaign for Knight.
Alvechurch made their numerical advantage count with two further goals while Saints failed to muster a single on-target attempt.
“I can’t defend any player who needlessly gets sent off when we’re in the situation we’re currently in,” said Clements.
“Luke picked up every award going last season, but the reality is that he hasn’t been at the same level this season.
“As a captain you have to show some responsibility and that certainly wasn’t the case on Saturday.
“We were 1-0 down early in the second half and had plenty of time to get something out of the game, but instead we found ourselves down to 10 men.
“We’re scrapping for our lives, we need every point we can get and we need every player on the pitch to do that.
“It’s easy to feel angry and frustrated when having the sort of tough season that we’re experiencing, but we have to cut out the stupid things that have affected us.
“We must stay smart and my skipper has to set the right example in that.”
The defeat to Alvechurch left Saints only a point above the Premier Division Central drop-zone ahead of a trip to play-off chasers Needham Market this Saturday, 3pm.
Clements wasn’t helped by the loss of two Northampton Town loan players on the eve of that game.
Scott Pollock and fellow midfielder Jack Newell were both recalled by the League Two clubs last Friday. Newell only joined Saints the previous day!
Wideman Devante Stanley is also serving a three-match suspension while Knight now faces a ban.