US Portsmouth hit 'self-explode button' after shipping six in heavy defeat to Fareham Town
Player-assistant manager Tom Jeffes blasted US Portsmouth for pressing the 'self-explode button' in their crushing Wessex League Premier Division defeat at Fareham Town.
The Reds ran out 6-1 winners with Curt Robbins hitting a hat-trick, Calum Benfield bagging a brace and Charlie Cooper also netting at Cams Alders.
But the scoreline did not tell the whole story of what was an even game up until the final 15 minutes, according to Jeffes.
Brodie Spencer had cancelled out Benfield's opener 10 minutes before the break as the teams were locked level at 1-1 at half time.
Cooper struck six minutes after the restart to restore Fareham's advantage, then US Portsmouth conceded four goals in the final 13 minutes and had John Cass sin-binned - ending the game with 10-men.
US Portsmouth's late implosion left Jeffes raging - and he stressed it's an area in which the young squad must address.
He said: ‘What was a real disappointing thing was we pressed the self-explode button - the last 10 minutes heads were gone. It’s something we’ve got to put right.
‘We’ve had three games where we’ve lost by five or more goals - it’s not acceptable.
‘The third goal obviously killed the game then Cassy (John Cass) went off (sin-binned).
‘The feeling at the end of the game was awful, as you’d expect, we lost 6-1 in another local derby game - we didn’t deserve to lose by that much - but it doesn’t matter, that was the score.
‘We’ve got to be better, we’re a young side, still learning - it’s not an excuse at all - but players are still getting to know each other and we’re still working the system.
‘There are loads of factors, we’re not shying away from it, Fareham deserved to win yesterday.
‘We’ve got to better ourselves, we’ve got to manage games better, and see games out better.’
Jeffes revealed the talk within the USP dressing room at half time was based around how they could go onto win the game.
Yet, they would go onto lose by five goals, and the USP player-assistant manager conceded it was a 'strange' afternoon.
Jeffes said: ‘It was a strange game, really. I felt the first half was quite even, both teams had decent chances, they took the lead with a well finished goal and we got ourselves back into it.
‘If I’m honest, we went in at half time saying, ‘we’ll be devastated if we lose this game,’ that was what was said in the changing room. It was never a 6-1 game.’