MANAGER Ken Vaughan blasted Bournemouth Poppies for a lack of desire following a catalogue of errors during last night's 4-2 derby defeat at Christchurch.
In a tame first half, rookie Rhys Owen’s audacious lofted effort sailed over visiting keeper Kenny Vaughan Jnr from 25 yards but within a minute, Lewis Burgis hit back for Poppies at the second attempt after Sam Carter had cleared his initial effort off the line.
After the interval, Chris Speers converted Mark Smith’s teasing free kick at the far post, a lead that was doubled five minutes later when another Smith set piece inexplicably squirmed through Vaughan Jnr’s grasp.
Poppies grabbed a lifeline when home captain Smith was dismissed for a second yellow card and Elliott Ward despatched with aplomb the resulting free kick five minutes from time.
But in the third minute of added time, Carter seized upon a poor pass to play in Gareth Barnes who ended the contest with a fierce low effort across goal, prompting the Poppies manager to question his players’ commitment.
“It was horrendous at times,” said Vaughan Snr. “We threw away the game with stupid, mindless mistakes and all four of their goals were poor from our point of view.
“We had six players who just didn’t perform, they weren’t up for it and we paid the price. We had four or five players out but that was no excuse, it should have been a good chance for us to freshen it up a bit and for people to stake their claim.
“Our players are more than capable for playing at this level and have done well in certain matches.
“We have improved over the past couple of months but playing like that has put us back to square one all over again. I just don’t know what it takes to keep the players motivated.”
Priory boss Michael Cuffie, whose side have taken seven points from three games since ending a 13-match winless run last week, said: “Over the past three games we have been different class. There is a different feel about the place and it looks like we have come out of our bad run.
“We have been a bit naive at times but played some fantastic stuff and I would rather see our boys express themselves, even if it leads to the odd mistake.
“A couple of months ago the nerves would have got to us after conceding the equaliser and we would have gone on to lose that game.”
Christchurch return to action tonmorrow with a home match against Lymington Town (7.45pm).
Priory: Sidley-Adams, Head (Cullen, 73), Biles, Speers, Blackburn, Owen (Proudley, 84), Smith, Carter, Barnes, Saul, Hanratty (Steer, 73). Unused subs: Baker, Field (g/k).
Poppies: Vaughan, Ayrton, Jackson, Burgis, Jacobs, Robinson, Rowley (Shovelton, 68), Ward, Ingram, Pekun, Phillips. Unused subs: Martinez, Carr, Hales, Pearce.