Hawley admits 'criminal' defending behind Boston United's poor league form

Karl Hawley.
Karl Hawley.

Karl Hawley says that ‘criminal’ defending was behind Boston United’s defeat to Brackley Town.

Today’s 3-2 reverse saw the Pilgrims slump to their third straight National League North defeat, ending the afternoon second-bottom.

Goals from Andy Brown, Shane Byrne and Aaron Williams put the Saints 3-0 up before United reduced the arrears through Ashley Hemmings and Jay Rollins.

“Three poor goals to concede. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and we didn’t manage to climb the mountain,” assistant manager Hawley said.

“There was good effort in the second half, but you can’t expect to defend like that and win games.

“We let ourselves down with three poor goals.

“It’s frustrating because we’re all working hard to get out the situation we’re in.

“We’re working hard and we’ve got to work harder, to put our bodies on the line to keep the ball out of our net.”

The defeat was only United’s second at home in the league this season, but the fact they have registered just one win from their past 11 league matches explains why just North Ferriby sit below them in the table.

Shipping goals remains Boston’s Achilles’ heel.

Of those previous 11 league matches, the Pilgrims have only led in two of them, the 2-1 victory over Ferriby and the 2-1 reverse at Bradford Park Avenue.

Hawley believes the squad are - man-for-man - good enough to compete in the division, but admits that things must tighten up at the back.

He added: “There’s enough in that changing room.

“But we have to keep the ball out the net. Players have to take some responsibility.

“We didn’t start badly but they had two attacks and scored two goals. It’s criminal.”

However, the number two gave his support to manager Adam Murray, stating: “He’s a hard worker.

“He’ll continue to do that and if he feels the players are not responding then he’ll have a decision to make.”

Boston return to action on Tuesday night, hosting second-placed Salford City (KO 7.45pm).