GILLINGHAM Town manager Adrian Foster admitted his shock as he watched his side relinquish a 4-1 lead at home to Wells City to lose 5-4.
Wells, who were bottom of the Toolstation Western League Premier Division prior to the fixture, found themselves 3-0 down in the first half after goals from Lee Gale (2) and Jack Valis. The visitors pulled a goal back just before half time but after Ashley Clarke had put the Gills 4-1 ahead following the break, the result looked certain.
Foster made three substitutions as the game wore on but could then only watch on as the hosts conceded four goals in the final ten minutes to confirm the unlikeliest of defeats.
He said: "It is highly disappointing. I brought off a few players to give some others a game but we just stopped and got punished. It was a bit of a shock. We did not play great up to that point but we still created chances. When they scored to make it 4-2 they got the momentum and we did not stop that. We did not do the right things that we have done since I have been at the club. We hit self destruct and the whole team were guilty.
"We allowed them to score goals – we were awful. There is only so much a manager can do. When I was a player I did not need my manager to tell me what to do, to work hard, to press the other team. You have got to take responsibility for yourself as a player. I thought Wells were very poor but credit to them, they kept going until the end and we could not cope with that."
Despite the result, Foster is delighted with how his side are performing so far this season, but admitted they have to improve to achieve their aims.
"It has been superb so far," he said. "If you take Saturday's result out of it we have done ever so well. If we had won that game we would have been fourth. We have played some great football but we have got to balance that sometimes when we are under pressure. Sometimes I have asked a bit too much of players but that is the way I am – I want to win every game."
Meanwhile, Gills starlet Aaron Rodriguez has been asked to train with npower League Two Exeter City this week. Foster has been pushing for the 16-year-old to be taken on professionally and the forward has now got the chance of securing a scholarship with the Grecians.
"Their director of football (former Tottenham Hotspur favourite Steve Perryman) phoned me and said they had heard about him," said Foster. "If he does well then they will give him a scholarship for two years. He is a nervous lad so hopefully that will not get in the way of his ability. When you are given the opportunity you have to take it."
By Ethan Daish