HORSHAM manager Justin Luchford has blasted his players for turning up too late to their match at Wingate & Finchley on Saturday.
An accident on the M25 and hold-ups on the North Circular meant several Hornets arrived at the North London ground at 2.30pm leaving not enough time for a proper warm-up.
Their opponents generously allowed the game to kick-off late at 3.18pm but despite this Horsham were still not at their best.
They conceded a simple goal in only the sixth minute from Wingate’s Leon Smith and although Ray Freeman put them back on level terms after 23 minutes, Smith added a second to put the hosts 2-1 up.
This became 3-1 just before half-time through Mark Weatherstone. After the break Horsham emerged in better form and soon pulled a second goal back by means of a skillful finish by Russell Eldridge.
Calum McGeehan, Freeman and Tony Nwachukwu all had chances to score a third but between them they were unable to grab a late draw.
Luchford said: “We shouldn’t have been in that position because we’ve only turned up for 45 minutes. In the second half we were the perfect team and deserved the draw. But we didn’t get it because of the first half performance.
“We conceded so weak goals and we’ve got to eradicate it. You can’t concede three goals away from home and expect to get a result. Unless they apply themselves for the whole match we are going to get beaten every week.
“It didn’t help that half the team turned up at 2.30pm. It was just bad preparation. If there’s an accident on the M25 then leave earlier. Russell Eldridge came up from Hastings and was here on time and so was Matt Armstrong-Ford who lives in Eastbourne. Don’t be late!”
Luchford admitted the side missed captain Ryan Woodford who may be fit to return to the squad for next Saturday’s trip to Lowestoft Town.