KENDAL Town manager Steve Edmondson apologised to the fans who made the trip to Leyland for his side’s woeful Lancashire Cup semi-final surrender to AFC Fylde on Tuesday night.
The Black and Whites were comfortably beaten 3-0 at the County Ground and the scoreline could have been a lot worse but for the efforts of centre back Martin Grundy and goalkeeper Craig Dootson, who the club recalled from his loan with Buxton as Ryan Robinson is still suffering from a groin injury.
Edmondson said he told his players ‘a few home truths’ after the full time whistle, and that a vast improvement was needed for the Ashton United match today.
“That was the worst performance since I’ve been manager at Kendal Town,” said Edmondson.
“They got the biggest rollicking they’ve ever had and a few home truths were told to a few players.
“It was men against boys and we praise them when they’ve done well, which they have for the majority of the time since I started, but Tuesday night was shocking and I apologise to the supporters for having to watch that rubbish.”
Edmondson refuted the notion that his players were not up for the Lancashire Cup, saying that the prospect of playing in the final at the Reebok Stadium should have provided ample motivation for his side.
The meek surrender was all the more surprising considering how well the Mintcakes played against fifth-placed Worksop Town on Saturday - a game where Edmondson’s side were very unlucky not to get at least a point in a seven-goal thriller.
Edmondson was gutted about the defeat.
“At 3-2 up we should have gone on to win the game but we live to fight another day.
“Through our own mistakes three points which could have helped us get away from trouble have gone away so it set us back but hopefully we can go to Ashton and get a positive result and eradicate those individual errors.
“We played really well at times, especially in the first half.”
Danny McGahon played in central midfield on Tuesday night, and his competent first half performance suggested to Edmondson that the position could be another option for him in the future.
James Short has been recalled from his loan by Morecambe, meaning Callum Hoctor played at left back, while Adam Freeland was cup-tied for the Fylde game.
Freeland was sent off against Worksop on Saturday, but due to league rules his one-match suspension will not come into force until the Black and Whites’ home tie with Rushall Olympic a week on Saturday, so he is able to play against Ashton United this weekend.
Ashton, 10th in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, come into the game on the back of a 4-1 loss to 15th-placed Blyth Spartans in midweek and despite starting the season off well, Ashton have won just once in their last 12 games.
The Mintcakes will return to Ashton-under-Lyne on Monday night when they take on First Division North side Curzon Ashton in the third round of the Doodson Sport Cup, and Edmondson will rotate his side to give his squad players an opportunity to impress.
“We will play a lot of squad players to see if they’re up to playing at that level,” Edmondson said.
“They deserve to stake their claim for a place in the side, especially after Tuesday night’s performance, and one or two of them could be given a chance if they impress.”