St Neots Town delivered a record-breaking performance – of the wrong kind – yesterday.
A 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Frome Town was not only the worst defeat of manager Matt Clements’ year-long reign, but also the club’s heaviest home loss in six-and-a-half seasons of Southern League football.
They also leaked six goals on home turf for the first time in more than two decades. It was 1996 when a set of visitors last ran riot in this manner.
Frome needed only nine minutes to hit the front when Darren Jefferies struck in their first serious attack, and he then turned provider when Joe Raynes doubled the lead on the half-hour.
Any thoughts of a St Neots comeback in the second half were quickly ended by two further Frome goals in the space of five minutes from Chas Hemmings and Mitchell Page.
That wasn’t the end of Saints’ torment as Ryan Bath grabbed a brace in the final quarter of an hour before the hosts finally had something to cheer when Dion Sembie-Ferris hit a consolation goal in stoppage time.
But that did little to appease the mood of furious boss Clements, who insists he will not tolerate a repeat of this horror show.
“I can take losing, but won’t stand for a lack of care and responsibility,” said Clements. “And I certainly won’t accept an attitude with allows consistent mistakes to be made due to a soft mentality.
“We deserved exactly what we got out of that game and our performance was beyond unacceptable. No player in our squad has a right to start the next game after that.
“Every single one of them has a duty to leave excuses at home and apologise to the fans by never ever allowing anything like it to happen again.
“Dion’s late goal – which he deserved – was the only highlight of a very bad day.”
Clements will seek a rapid response from his players when Saints go to Royston on Tuesday night.
Full-back Johnny Herd returns for that fixture after sitting out the Frome debacle due to suspension. Skipper Luke Knight began a two-match ban yesterday.