Rutherford ready to wield the axe

Steve Hutchings
Steve Hutchings
Former Pompey chairman Iain McInnes. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Miles Rutherford has threatened to ship out some of his under-performing players after Moneyfields lost 1-0 to GE Hamble in the FA Vase.

The Copnor club’s manager ripped into his players after a freak own goal, nine minutes from time, settled the second-round clash.

Rutherford said: ‘Collectively, we are playing like individuals.

‘I need to look at that and see about changing things and get a few in and let a few go.

‘A few players think they are better than they are and I can’t put up with that at the moment.

‘I don’t know whether it’s time to look at rebuilding.

‘It’s one where you look and say “do I leave because I’ve taken it as far as I can?”

‘Or do you think to yourself “it’s the players that have got you in this situation” and you let a few go and start again?

‘That’s the way I’m looking at it at the moment.

‘The referee’s missed a definite handball on the line for which he’s apologised afterwards.

‘But I’m not making any excuses – our performance was very, very poor.

‘For me, that was the worst performance of the season.’

The game hinged on two pieces of luck that went against the home side.

On the hour, the referee failed to spot Lloyd Webber’s handball as he deflected Steve Hutchings’ shot over the bar – a moment Webber admitted he was lucky to get away with.

He said: ‘It’s just an instinctive thing to stick an arm out.

‘It’s up to the referee and linesman to then make the decision.

‘Luckily for us nobody’s seen it, but their players have.

‘It’s one of those things.’

Then, with nine minutes to go, Webber’s header appeared to be drifting wide of the post but struck Conor Bailey and a wrong-footed keeper Dave Hook, before trickling over the line for the winning goal.

Moneys had created enough chances in the second half to have won comfortably but were unable to take them.

Dan Sackman was denied by a fine save, Bailey hit the post, Danny Boyle saw his effort cleared off the line and Jack Lee headed wide.

‘The players let a lot of people connected with the club down,’ added Rutherford.

‘Our season’s over. We are a top five side but we aren’t going to win the league with performances like that.

‘Maybe it’s time to play a few of the youngsters.

‘If I had a group of players that gave me everything every week then I would be happy.

‘But I’ve not got that at the moment and it’s something that needs addressing.’