Belper Town FC struggled to get out of second gear at the Marston’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon, resulting in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Whitby Town, who in turn recorded their first victory of the season.
Following a bright display over Kings Lynn the previous Tuesday evening, the team understandable remained unchanged in their attempts to claim their first three points of the campaign. However, the players proved a shadow of their former selves in front of a healthy crowd on the National Football Non-League Day.
Assistant manager Mick Godber was determined to send out a strict message to his side, insisting such a performance is not to be repeated again for the remainder of this season.
“The polite way of describing our performance over Whitby is quite simply ‘rubbish’. That is the nicest word I can think of. We can accept not playing well, and having off-days, but we will never accept a lack of effort or commitment on the field. The players weren’t working hard enough, weren’t tackling and weren’t putting their bodies on the line for the cause as they normally would. We got what we deserved in the end.”
He continued, “The first 15 minutes were OK, and I thought we looked fairly bright and we created a few good chances. But then after, we looked disinterested.
“This is an incredibly difficult league, and it doesn’t matter who we play against, we need to give 100 per cent otherwise we’ll lose, it’s that simple. However, what I will say is, credit to Whitby Town for their performance, let’s not take anything away from them.”
On a positive note, Godber was keen to reassure the club and its supporters, insisting there is no need to hit the panic button. “Out of the seven games we’ve played this season, this is the first one where we’ve been hammered. Despite not winning yet, we’ve more than matched our opponents and we should have won games by this point. It’s all about getting that first win now, and we need it as soon as possible. Until we get that win, we’ll be playing with extra pressure and it’s not helpful to the players. Having said that, it’s the players who need to help themselves.
“We apologise to the supporters who turned out in their numbers again yesterday and followed the team as they always do. We can assure them they won’t be seeing this lack of effort again.”
The Nailers had a chance to claim their first three points of the season last night (Tuesday), after the News went to press, away to Stourbridge with a kick off of 7.45pm.