Furious manager Ricky Marheineke branded some of his players ‘frauds’ after an afternoon of humiliation for St Ives Town.
Struggling Saints were subjected to a 7-0 home drubbing at the hands of Kettering Town in the Southern League Premier Division yesterday.
Marheineke admits he could have no complaints if given the sack after an ‘absolutely disgraceful’ display from a team battling to avoid relegation in their first-ever season of Step 3 football.
But the boss, who led Saints to promotion through the Division One (Central) play-offs last term, insists he will not talk away from a tough situation at ProEdge Westwood Road.
Marheineke said: “What happened yesterday was absolutely disgraceful and embarrassing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the chairman called me in to give me my P45.
“I’m ashamed to be part of such a poor performance which lacked any sort of quality, guts or determination. To concede seven goals in a game at this level is unforgivable - we just threw the towel in.
“I have to apologise to anyone who witnessed that. The supporters deserve their money back and in actual fact our players should give it to them.
“It’s not the sort of result that can be brushed under the carpet and dismissed as ‘one of those days’.
“The players need to go away and decide whether they want to be part of this football club because, quite frankly, some of them are frauds at this moment in time.
“I’m not sure they have the heart to get us out of the position we’re in. I’ll let them consider their futures and see where we go from there.
“I went home, agonised over what happened and couldn’t get to sleep until 3am. I know my assistant, Jack Cassidy, did, but how many of the players did?
“I’ve come through tough situations before and I’m confident I can do it again. If I didn’t believe that, I would walk away right now.”
A Scott Sinclair error handed Kettering man James Brighton a seventh-minute opener, and the Saints defending just as generous when the visitors doubled their advantage 11 minutes before the break.
Central defenders Liam McDevitt and Charlie De’Ath collided when attempting to deal with the same long ball and left Spencer Weir-Daley with the simplest of finishes.
That was the first of four goals for the Kettering frontman, who also helped himself to a seven-minute hat-trick early in the second period.
The first of those came when Saints failed to deal with a cross, the second arrived from the penalty spot after McDevitt had upended Brighton, and his final strike came after he had been left unmarked as a free-kick fell into his path.
Weir-Daley was later substituted, but his replacement – Rene Howe – continued the torment before Wilson Carvalho completed the scoring late on.
Saints remain third-bottom in the Premier Division, but now find themselves three points from safety.
Marheineke added: “We’re at a point now where the rest of November will make or break the squad, the management team and possibly the whole season.
“We’ve got two cup games against lower-level opposition in the next week and then four big league games, including three against other teams in the bottom half of the table.
“I genuinely believe we will have a good second half of the season, so we need to ensure we are still in touch when you get there.”
Saints turn their attention to cup competitions now as they host Bedford Town in the second round of the Southern League Challenge Cup on Tuesday before entertaining Leek Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday.