Lee Bradbury apologised to the travelling Hawks fans after his side crashed to an embarrassing 6-0 defeat against St Albans City at Clarence Park on Saturday.
Before the game, the boss suggested defeat to their closest rivals in the key National League South relegation encounter was unthinkable.
But by the final whistle the Hawks had not only lost – they had been beaten out of sight.
In a big test of character they were found wanting and displayed little of the passion and bravery required in a relegation scrap.
An angry and hugely-disappointed Bradbury said: ‘It is without doubt the lowest point of my managerial career.
‘The manner of our defeat was difficult to stomach and badly hurt my pride.
‘It was the worst performance from any team I have ever managed.
‘I let the players know that in no uncertain terms at half-time and again after the game.
‘The way we gave the goals away was terrible.
‘I want to be a winner and the display out on the pitch didn’t reflect that.
‘Personally I was gutted and devastated by it all.
‘At the end I felt going over to speak with our fans was the right thing to do.’
The Hawks’ nightmare began after only three minutes when woeful defending from a long-throw saw them fall behind.
Lee Chappell launched the ball into the area and Ben Martin rose above the defence to head home.
‘We talked about their long throw-ins all week but players didn’t carry out instructions and do their job.’ said Bradbury.
The early goal put the Hawks on the back foot and they fell apart to concede three more goals before half-time.
Louie Theophanous, Michael Thalassitis and Charlie MacDonald all struck for St Albans.
And although the visitors showed a slight improvement at the start of the second half, they still conceded two further goals.
‘The players need to take a big look at themselves,’ said Bradbury.
‘They were nowhere near strong enough and the most disappointing thing was our lack of character.
‘When the going got tough they retreated into their shells and that is unacceptable. The players have three games left to show what it means to them. It is not a time for sulking and blaming each other. We need to pick ourselves up and go again.
‘We have three league games left to put things right. And having fallen off the horse, it is vital we get straight back into the saddle.
‘The only way we can do that is to roll our sleeves up and fight.’
The Hawks slipped into the bottom two. They are two points from safety with a game in hand on the two teams immediately above them.
HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Haran (Molyneaux 82), Stock, Robinson, Hill (Cummings, 82min), Swallow, Lewis, Mullings, Hayter, Ciardini (Barker, 38min). Att: 702.