FURIOUS Hailsham Town manager Ken McCreadie laid into his players after they were thrashed at table-toppers East Preston in a top of the table clash on Saturday afternoon.
McCreadie was understandably frustrated after seeing his side succumb to a 5-1 defeat at Lashmar, his anger boiling over midway through the first-half as referee Robert Myhill gave him his marching orders after being too vociferous in his protests.
The Stringers started brightly, and were arguably the better team 20 minutes into the game. Shane Saunders went close inside the first minute with Ben Billings, Steve Dallaway, Ashley Jarvis and Danny Leach all testing opposition ‘keeper Alex Bryant.
However, that would prove to be false optimism for Hailsham, as Matthew Axel started the rout giving East Preston the lead in the 24th minute.
It would get worse for the Stringers faithful before half-time when Charlie Oatway made it two on 35 minutes, in somewhat similar fashion to the first goal.
Shortly after the interval it was three when George Gaskin was left with plenty of room inside the box to comfortably slot home a third in the 51st minute.
Hailsham thought they had given themselves a lifeline after star striker Danny Leach slotted home a penalty after Ryan Alexander was upended in the box two minutes later.
But two goals in quick succession from Gaskin, completing his hat-trick, cemented East Preston’s lead at the top of the table.
Hailsham manager Ken McCreadie gave no excuses for his side’s inept display, lavishing praise on opponents East Preston. He said, “East Preston quite simply gave us a footballing lesson.
“They have a very strong squad, they have a good first division squad let alone a second division one.
“They bossed us in every department, our midfield was overran and our defence was just not good enough and that is not something I have said a lot this year.”
McCreadie also insisted that he has no problems with the referee or any of his officials despite his sending-off and is focused on getting his team back on track ahead of this weekend’s game at Steyning Town.
“I have no qualms with Mr Myhill or any of his officials. I discussed the situation with them at half-time and why I wasn’t happy. There will be no further action taken and as far as I am concerned that is the matter closed.”
He added, “Understandably the lads are gutted and they should be. It was a very poor performance all-round, but we have to remember we are second in the league and this is only our second defeat of the season- our first away from home. We are looking forward to putting things right at Steyning Town this weekend.”
HAILSHAM: Tanner, Dean Stevens (Jacob Stevens 72), Ottley (Hall 65), Earley (Attril 65), Richardson, Alexander, Dallaway, Jarvis, Leach, Saunders, Billings ATT: 53
REFEREE: Robert Myhill