NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Manager Matt Clements takes full responsiblity and vows to take action following an afternoon to forget for St Neots Town
- Credit: Archant
Matt Clements has run out of patience with some St Neots Town players – just three matches into the new Southern League Premier Division Central season.
Saints suffered a second reverse of the 2018/19 campaign when beaten by a single Rushall Olympic goal at the Premier Plus Stadium yesterday.
And the manner of the defeat left the normally mild-mannered Clements seething with a promise to shake-up a squad which has failed to hit the ground running.
Rushall were gifted their breakthrough eight minutes into the second half when a mis-timed tackle from summer signing Matty Miles gave Daniel Waldron the chance to fire a powerful finish past keeper Finlay Iron.
Saints had been fortunate not to fall behind late in the first half when Miles produced a goal-saving challenge on Waldron before the same home player was fortunate not to be punished for an error as Justin Richards fluffed a golden chance.
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There was no let-off after the interval and Saints looked devoid of ideas as they attempted to muster a response with only a blocked Claudio Ofosu effort to show for an insipid second period – one that Clements is not prepared to tolerate.
He said: “I can safely say that was one of the worst performances I’ve ever been involved in throughout my time in football.
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“It’s not just the result that has disappointed me, but the attitude and lack of desire displayed by the majority of the players in my team.
“It’s not a heavy defeat, but it’s one where a lack of honesty and bravery has really let us down.
“I take full responsibility as I recruit, motivate and lead this side and it is clear to me I haven’t done those things as well as I should have.
“I’ve also shown loyalty to some players who have thrown it back at me, but again it’s not their fault they either can’t or won’t do the things I’m asking of them. The buck stops with me for allowing or not seeing it.
“Therefore I will look to bring in players who deserve to be and want to be at a fantastic club with fantastic facilities.”
Clements handed a debut to new striking signing Kasey Douglas as a second-half substitute against Rushall.
Douglas was released by League One club Peterborough at the end of last season and spent the summer with National League North outfit Kidderminster Harriers.
Saints face a daunting Bank Holiday weekend with clashes against two of the pre-season title favourites.
Clements takes his men to King’s Lynn this Saturday ahead of a Bank Holiday Monday home date against AFC Rushden & Diamonds.