Kidsgrove Athletic manager Ryan Austin has admitted that his side’s performance against Belper Town was ‘not good enough’, as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at the Novus Stadium on Wednesday.
The Grove are now without a win in their last seven games, and are in 17th place in the Evo-Stick South table, just four points from safety. Austin said he was disappointed with his team’s performance, and understands his side are now in a relegation fight.
“We weren’t good enough. We’re in a relegation battle,” he told StaffsLive.
“I said to the lads before the game that it’s about application, desire, will to win, to win tackles and run harder than them, and I thought we just got outfought during the game, which was really disappointing.”
There was controversy involving Belper’s first goal, as in the 16th minute a free-kick was awarded to the away side, despite many in the ground, including the Kidsgrove players, believing it should have been given to them.
Belper took the free-kick quickly, catching the Grove defence off guard, and Leondro Browne was able to convert from just inside the box.
Despite thinking the referee made the wrong decision, Austin slammed his side for some ‘schoolboy defending’ which led to the goal.
“I think it’s our foul, but the ref has not given it, they’ve reacted quicker than us and we haven’t tracked runners.
“That is where we are naïve. It’s schoolboy defending. You’re taught at a young age to play till the whistle, but they’ve managed to react to the referee giving them the foul, and their lad has gone through and scored.
“It’s not good enough, poor defending.”
Belper quickly doubled their lead midway through the first half through midfielder Dylan Garnett, and in the 83rd minute, they put the game to bed. Sam Birks was on hand to tap home from close range after Dave Parton brilliantly saved Lee Williamson’s free-kick, a goal which Austin was particularly displeased with.
“The third goal was embarrassing. Dave has pulled off a world class save, and we don’t track runners and someone has a tap in.
“If that carries on, then we’re never going to get out of this trouble.”
Kidsgrove travel to bottom of the league Sheffield FC on Saturday, knowing that only a win will do. With twelve league games left, Austin is still confident that his side will be safe from relegation.
“Every game is massive at the moment, every point we get will be a point in the right direction towards safety.
“I’m still confident we’ll stay out of the relegation places, but we need to stop the rot as soon as possible.”