Horndean manager Dave Carter slammed his side’s ‘schoolboy defending’ after the Deans threw away a second-half lead to lose 3-2 at Whitchurch in the Wessex League premier division.
The visitors, who had gifted their opponents an early opener, fought back well to deservedly go in level at the break through George Davis’ far-post header.
And the points appeared to be heading back to Five Heads Park when Nathan Paxton gave Carter’s side the advantage after the interval, firing home from the edge of the box.
But kamikaze defending put paid to any hopes of a victory as goalkeeper Lyall Beazley’s instructions to first leave the ball for him to deal with and then clear their lines both went unheeded as the hosts profited to steal all three points.
‘When we went 2-1 up I thought it was game won,’ said Carter.
‘We had full control of the game but schoolboy defending has cost us.
‘They haven’t scored three goals, we’ve given them all away through poor defensive errors.’
The visitors made the worst possible start to the game when a defensive lapse handed Whitchurch the advantage with just two minutes on the clock.
With the Deans backline trying to play their way out of trouble rather than head the ball out of play, the hosts capitalised to round the advancing Beazley and break the deadlock.
Far from being demoralised by the early setback, the Deans took hold of proceedings and levelled on the half-hour mark.
A pin-point delivery from Jack MacFarlane picked out the lurking Davis at the far post, who duly headed home the equaliser.
The lively Paxton then gave the Deans the lead with a shot from the edge of the box early in the second period.
But boss Carter could only watch on in horror as another brace of defensive errors gifted the game to the hosts.
Schoolboy defending saw opposing outcomes to Beazley’s vocal demands as Whitchurch claimed an unlikely victory.
HORNDEAN: Beazley, MacFarlane, Chatfield, Warren, Kirby, Hayes, Spurway, Davis, Smith, Potter, Paxton