Ashington FC manager Gary Middleton was a subdued and forlorn figure on Saturday following his side’s 1-1 draw at Crook Town.
And underneath he was seething and slammed his outfit.
“That was the worst display I have seen from an Ashington team in all my time as manager, and I have told the players that.
“I was embarrassed and bitterly disappointed to be part of that today and disillusioned with the whole squad because performances were miles away from what is expected of them and were not good enough.
“We spoke about building on Tuesday after the replay win over Holker Old Boys and about being ruthless when opportunities came our way, but we had 14 entries, not just in the final third but in the box and only had four opportunities to score goals.
“So the decision-making and quality in the final third was not good enough.”
The boss – starting his sixth season in charge – was critical of the goal his side conceded and also explained why he did not withdraw skipper Andrew Johnson who suffered a ‘dead’ leg.
“I didn’t think we defended the goal we conceded particularly well and could have done better,” he said.
“Andrew Johnson was injured but was the only person who looked like he was going to create something, so that’s why we kept him on the pitch and he scored our equaliser.
“Without pointing the finger at anyone, collectively it was a bitterly poor performance and one that my assistant Perry Briggs and myself were not very happy with.
“We also picked up a few injuries, so all in all it was not a very good day.”