Ashington manager Steve Harmison was forthright in his post match comments following his side’s 4-1 defeat against table toppers Shildon at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.
The Colliers had gone two goals down inside the opening 20 minutes, the first after a mere 70 seconds.
Harmison said: “I keep saying it and it sounds too much like a broken record, but it is not good enough or acceptable.
“I can accept mistakes and we can make any excuses like we were down to the bare bones, but the fundamentals of the game of football cost us tonight.
“For at least three of the goals we made mistakes, and we stood off them for the first ten to 15 minutes.
“Did we show them too much respect? I don’t know. Possibly. All in all you can say we had a go and tried and we did some good things in the game, but again that is irrelevant and that is three or four times I have said that this season.
“When you are so far behind in the first 20 minutes, you have got no right to win a game of football, and that is the stark reality of where Ashington FC are at the moment.
“Teams must be coming to play us and saying to themselves ‘if we get at them from the start, we can get an early goal.”
He continued: “Why did our clashes against Guisborough and North Shields go the distance? Because we stayed in the game. We started well, got a foothold, had our chances and had a right good go.
“Good teams like Shildon, who have got four good defenders, will basically play on the counter attack.
“That’s what good teams including North Shields do, and we played straight into Shildon’s hands tonight.”
Harmison revealed that he will be trying to bolster his squad.
“We are going to have to bring a few reinforcements in to try and help us,” he added.
“James Harmison shouldn’t have been anywhere near the squad tonight, but we had to ask him to go on the bench as a substitute, then we had to play Ben Harmison at centre half in the second half.
“We must stick together, but there has got to come a time where people have got to take responsibility both as a group and as a team.
“It’s a year now since we took over in charge. At the end of last season we thought we had a good footing into where we want to be, but I would argue that we have gone backwards, which is disappointing, and we have got to address that now.
“We have got some hard fixtures coming up and games like tonight have got to hurt players, because you aren’t going to win many against the top teams when you give away two-goal starts, especially with the pace and movement Shildon have got.”