Shaun Gale’s hopes of turning Westleigh Park into a fortress look a distant dream after a 3-2 defeat to Chelmsford in the Blue Square South.
It was a second home loss in the space of four days for Gale’s Hawks and they were booed off the pitch at half-time.
But with his side looking a soft touch, Gale has vowed to address the situation.
‘We need to change massively how we play at home,’ said Gale
‘The damage was done in the first half when, for whatever reason, we never got started and gifted them two goals.
‘You can’t do that in this league.
‘For the second time in a week we have shot ourselves massively in the foot and it isn’t good enough.
‘The players know it isn’t acceptable.
‘The game was lost in the first 16 minutes when we were poor all over the park.
‘It is possibly the worst first-half performance I have seen us play.
‘Suddenly we looked scared out there.
‘As manager I take the responsibility and I apologise to the fans for the first half because it was poor.
‘We were better in the second half but it was too little, too late.
‘It was ludicrous the way we conceded again after getting ourselves back into the game.
‘Conceding five goals in our opening two home games isn’t good enough but we are all in this together.’
Chelmsford looked lively going forward from the start.
But when the Hawks fell behind after six minutes it was self-inflicted.
Greg Morgan was allowed space down the right in a quick counter-attack and when his cross came in Hawks’ full-back Jake Newton directed his header past Nathan Ashmore and into his own goal.
The Hawks looked fragile at the back and it was no surprise when the visitors extended their lead in the 16th minute.
Ricky Modeste hooked the ball over from the by-line despite the close attention of a number of defenders.
And the unmarked Cliff Akurang looped his header over Ashmore into the net.
The home side improved a little in the second half.
Seven minutes from time a handball allowed Steve Ramsey to net from the penalty spot.
But within two minutes, Chelmsford restored their two-goal advantage.
A second Ramsey penalty in stoppage-time was merely a consolation.
‘The last two games have brought us back down to earth with a bump,’ said Gale.
‘It can’t happen like this again.
‘Players went missing in the first half.
‘The difference this year is we have a few more characters in the dressing room who won’t accept it from their team-mates.
‘We go to Weston-super-Mare tomorrow and that won’t be easy.
‘The players have to lift themselves and owe us a performance.’
Hawks: Ashmore 7; Newton 6, McDonald 5, Hinshelwood 5, Holland 5, Pearce 5, Fogden 5, Ramsey 7, Peacock 6 (Jones 60mins – 5), Igoe 6 (McBean 45mins – 6), Braham-Barrett 7.
Unused subs: Scott; Woodford, Beazely.