Shaun Gale admitted managing the Hawks is proving a ‘nightmare at the moment’ as his side suffered a 4-1 defeat at Salisbury City.
The visitors’ inconsistency came to the fore again as, despite Saturday’s win over Truro by the same scoreline, the Hawks were well below par yesterday.
Wes Fogden gave them hope when he levelled shortly before half-time. But that proved the only bright point as Gale’s misery was completed with the sending off of Ryan Woodford for a second yellow card.
The Hawks boss laid into his team’s defending and conceded his side have to find consistency if they are to make a Blue Square South play-off push this season.
Gale said: ‘As a manager, it’s a nightmare for me at the moment. I don’t know what I’m going to get from my team.
‘There’s the team that did so well against Truro and the one we had yesterday.
‘The latter is the one that loses their discipline as soon as things go against them.
‘Players who we thought were leaders are not doing their jobs and letting themselves and the club down.
‘We didn’t defend properly and gifted Salisbury all four of their goals.We musn’t become a yo-yo team and need to get back to basics and consistency.’
The Hawks were without full-back Jake Newton, who flew out to Guyana yesterday for their World Cup preparations.
Sammy Igoe returned to the starting line-up along with Sam Pearce, with Warren McBean dropping to the substitutes’ bench.
The visitors fell behind after only four minutes as a result of some poor defending.
Central defender Chris Holland totally misjudged a forward ball, enabling Daniel Fitchett to run on and easily tuck his shot past the exposed Nathan Ashmore into the corner.
The Hawks looked ragged at the back and another mistake from Holland let in Fitchett. The angle was acute but Ashmore had to push the Salisbury striker’s fierce effort away at the near post.
Five minutes before the break, however, they grabbed an equaliser against the run of play.
Igoe squared the ball back from a free-kick and, although Steve Ramsey’s powerful low shot was cleared off the line, the ball hit Fogden and rebounded into the goal.
The first half finished in dramatic style when Christopher Giles’ firmly-struck shot hit Holland on the arm and the referee awarded a penalty to Salisbury.
Jake Reid sent Ashmore the wrong way and buried his spot-kick into the corner of the net.
It was 3-1 early into the second half as Giles beat Pearce in the air to flick the ball on to Bryan Dutton who headed the ball over an advancing Ashmore caught in no man’s land.
Woodford moved into the centre of defence but six minutes from time, the defender was sent off after making a sliding tackle to pick up his second yellow card.
Two minutes from time, Salisbury player-manager Darrell Clarke completed the Hawks’ misery when he managed to get in ahead of Ashmore and plant his header into the empty net.
Salisbury: Gough, Ruddick, Hart, Adelsbury, Dutton, Giles, Kelly, Anderson, Fitchett, Reid, Knight. Subs: Wright, Smith, Clarke, Casey, Herbert.
HAWKS: Ashmore, Ryan, Woodford, Hinshelwood, Holland, Pearce, Fogden, Ramsey, Jones, Igoe, Braham-Barrett. Subs: Nwokeji, McBean, Eberendu, Beasley, Scott.