11:45AM, Friday 02 November 2018
Alan Massey took over in goal after Carl Pentney’s sending off. Photo by Mick Vogel.
Alan Devonshire apologised to Maidenhead United’s ‘fantastic’ fans after they watched their side capitulate to a second humiliating defeat in the space of a few days, this time at Havant & Waterlooville on Tuesday.
Loyal Magpies fans travelled south hoping to see their side bounce back from Saturday’s 6-0 defeat to AFC Fylde, but instead their team was on the end of a 7-0 hiding.
Carl Pentney’s first half sending off contributed to the severity of the scoreline, but Devonshire was once again at a loss to explain his side’s woeful defending.
“I want to say a big thank you to the fans last night who were unbelievable,” said Devonshire.
“They were fantastic and I want to apologise because we let them down.
“I take responsibility for that.
“I’ve never been beaten 6-0 and 7-0 before, but we can’t go about feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to get back to basics because the defending is so poor at the moment.
“We started off quite well in the first half, but in the second half we were trying to push high up the field with only 10 men and you just can’t do that.”
Devonshire felt the Magpies started off well enough on the south coast, but they were already trailing 1-0 when goalkeeper Pentney was dismissed for handling the ball outside the area.
With no back-up keeper on the bench captain Alan Massey donned the gloves and spent a lot of the remaining 50 minutes fishing the ball out of his net.
Having conceded a second to Rory Williams’ 40th minute free-kick, the Magpies managed to get to half-time without falling further adrift, but three strikes in three second half minutes left them reeling once again.
Havant went on to register their best ever win in the National League and ended a run of eight matches without a win.
“Without a doubt (we’re looking to strengthen),” added Devonshire.
“But, at the end of the day, they’ve got to be better than what we’ve already got.
“We’re a part-time team so we’re choosing from a part-time pool of players and that makes it difficult, but it is what it is.
“I always knew this season would be hard, but I’ve now got to do what I think is right and, if that means working with players to make them better, I’ll do that. Of course I am (concerned). I never thought we’d get beaten 6-0 and 7-0, but it’s happened and it’s up to me to get a reaction.”
The Magpies, rock bottom of the league form table, visit bottom club Dover Athletic on Saturday desperate for some respite from the recent negativity.
While League 1 leaders Portsmouth will be salivating at the prospect of coming to York Road for next weekend’s FA Cup first round match, a tie that will be screened live to the nation on BT Sport.
Nick Hamann will stand in for the suspended Carl Pentney at Dover.
“Dover will be tough,” said Dev. “They’re a big side and we’re struggling with that at the moment.
“I’m not thinking about the FA Cup game at the moment.
“Saturday’s game is more important, the FA Cup game is one to enjoy, but we need something from Saturday.”
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