A SEETHING Steve Housham blasted his players after they conceded five and had a man sent off at mid-table Solihull Moors on Saturday.
As reported in the Standard last week, Housham felt his side had 19 cup finals left in the remaining games of the season, but they were comprehensively beaten in the first of those at Damson Park.
Solihull were gifted an opener in the fourth minute and found themselves 2-0 up at the halfway stage.
After the break, Luke Waterfall’s bundled effort gave Gainsborough hope but it was short-lived as within a few minutes skipper Gavin Cowan saw red for a foul in the penalty area and Ryan Beswick completed his hat-trick from the spot.
Trinity substitute Leon Mettam was given a chance to reduce the deficit with the scores at 3-1, however he failed to convert the penalty he won and goals from Danny Spencer and Lee Morris put the game beyond doubt.
A late Blues rally saw Mettam atone for his earlier effort and Ryan Williams net with five minutes remaining, though both strikes did nothing to lighten the mood of their manager on the touchline.
Housham said: “I can’t see how you can go from beating the league leaders as comfortable as we did last week to committing suicide today with some of the football we played.”
“We started brightly in the second half, we got the goal and then we give the penalty away and it’s a sending off.”
“Defensively we were awful and we’ve been so strong there in my time here and we deservedly got beat.”
And Mettam’s missed penalty in the 61st minute riled the Blues chief, who insisted after the game that striker Paul Connor was the club’s designated penalty taker.
“He’s (Mettam) not even on penalties – simple as.”
“I knew we were going to miss because there were three of them fighting over the ball, they have got to grow up.”
“We’ve missed so many penalties this season, but Paul Connor was my penalty taker yet three of them were fighting over the ball like babies out there.”
“I said to Lee Warren (assistant manager) that we’ll miss it now and we did but we move on.”
Despite the result, Housham’s men remain sixth in Blue Square Bet North, two points outside the play-off positions, although the former Brigg boss admits the Blues must fare better against the so called lesser sides in the division.
He added: “If we want to get promoted and get into the play-offs we’ve got to come to places like this and perform.”
“We can’t just turn up and say we’ve beat Hyde, we can beat anyone we want – it doesn’t happen like that.”
The void in midfield left by the absence of Jonathan D’Laryea was clearly visible right from the word go.
Four minutes were on the clock when Cowan’s tame header to goalkeeper Michael Emery was intercepted and turned in by Ryan Beswick.
The contest became bogged down in a midfield battle until Ryan Kendall spurned an excellent chance to level and strike partner Connor could not force in the rebound.
And the visitors were made to pay when Beswick was credited with Solihull’s second two minutes before the interval.
A routine cross-shot was woefully dealt with by Emery and he allowed the ball to slip under his body and over the goal-line despite the best efforts of Adam Watts.
It prompted Housham into making a double substitution after the restart with Mettam on for Lee Ridley and Ryan Williams replacing Levi Reid.
For the first five minutes of the second-half, the swap seemed to have its desired effect when Waterfall helped in a Kevin Sandwith corner from the right to make it 2-1.
But the game hinged on Cowan’s dismissal for hauling down a Moors player inside the area, and when Beswick rounded off his 53 minute hat-trick from the resultant penalty the Blues had a mountain to climb.
On 61 minutes, Mettam won and missed his side’s spot-kick before Spencer’s headed effort and Morris’s excellent curling shot rubberstamped the victory and ensured all three points would be staying in the West Midlands.
Mettam did find the net five minutes from time after Jas Singh’s fumble and Williams made it 5-3 with a low drive from the edge of the area to add a little more respectability to the result.
Gainsborough entertain 14th-placed Histon on the Northolme on Saturday knowing a win could lift them back into the play-off picture.
They travel to FC Halifax on Tuesday 24th January in the re-arranged fixture which was called off on New Year’s Day due to a waterlogged pitch.
Solihull Moors: Singh; Francis, Langdon, Bennett, Pierpoint (Broadhurst 49), Spencer, Thompson-Brown, English, Walker (Morris 64), Beswick, Blackwood. Subs (not used): Martinez, Fitzpatrick, Johnson.
Gainsborough Trinity: Emery; Watts, Sandwith, Cowan, Waterfall, Clarke, Leary, Reid (R. Williams 46), Kendall, Connor, Ridley (Mettam 46). Subs (not used): Boyce; J. Williams, Yates.
Referee: Andy Scregg.