Mick Catlin assessed Gosport Borough’s 2-1 Vanarama Conference South loss at St Albans and admitted: Sometimes you get what you deserve.
Justin Bennett’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time, his 26th of the season, was one of very few positive moments for the visitors, who ended yesterday’s clash with nine men.
Lee Chappell and Omar Beckles strikes proved enough for the Hertfordshire hosts, who were given a helping hand by Lee Molyneaux’s straight red card for a rash challenge on the hour mark, when the scores were level.
Mike Carter followed at the death after picking up a second yellow card with Borough chasing the game – a second dismissal of the season for the sought-after midfielder.
Assistant manager Catlin was in no mood to look for excuses, though, particularly given the fact that play-off chasing Borough had recorded a morale-boosting 3-1 victory over rivals Hawks on New Year’s Day.
He said: ‘Justin scored a great goal, nipping in at the back post to fire home but for us that was probably the only positive.
‘The chances for him and Matt Paterson today were few and far between.
‘We didn’t create a great deal and were nowhere near the intensity we showed in the Hawks game.
‘We fell below our normal standards and sometimes in football you get what you deserve.
‘It was a frustrating day all round.’
Catlin believes Borough were guilty of shooting themselves in the foot, with Molyneaux’s dismissal for a late tackle on St Albans’ teenage substitute Jack Green proving pivotal.
He said: ‘They had a young lad who was really nippy and nicked the ball away from Lee.
‘He was already committed, though, and threw himself into the tackle.
‘That was disappointing.
‘We weren’t playing well anyway but with 11 men we still had a chance of getting a result from the game.
‘Instead, we then found ourselves 2-1 down with 10 men chasing a lost cause really.
‘Robbie Matthews came on at centre-half for Brett Poate, who had an injury to his thigh, but we ended up sticking him up front to try and get in the game.
‘That left us man for man at the back and a loose pass saw Mike Carter come across but the lad just touched it past him and he couldn’t block his run really.
‘That’s his second red card of the season, although we would hope he won’t be given an extended ban because it wasn’t a violent offence.’
Yesterday’s result saw Borough drop out of the play-off positions and into eighth place in a congested league table.
With teams as tight as they are at the top, Catlin has called on the Privett Park outfit to regain the form they showed earlier in the season.
He said: ‘We want to try and build a bit of momentum.
‘At the moment, it’s one step forward, two steps back.
‘We are not finding any continuity in the way that we are playing.
‘It’s tough, though, because there are a number of games in a short space of time.
‘Sometimes the physical aspect affects the players.
‘But we’ve just got to take it (defeat) on the chin and make sure we are back at it in our next game.’