Assistant manager Julian Miller believes Horsham YMCA’s 2-1 defeat at Pagham was ‘the worst display’ he has seen since he joined the club in August 2016.
Pagham took the lead on the half-hour mark through a Joe Clarke header but Tony Nwachukwu fired YM level through a header of his own in the 70th minute.
But the Lions quickly retook the lead when Toby Funnell knocked in a deep cross at the back post.
The result leaves YMCA in 12th place in the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division.
Miller was aghast at the result. He said: “We thought it couldn’t get any worse but that’s probably the worst display I’ve seen from YM since I’ve been here.
“It wasn’t good at all but we’ve got to keep going. We’re making a lot of changes at the moment, with people not available through injuries and suspensions but there’s no excuses.”
It’s their second consecutive defeat to a bottom five side and Miller is unsure as to what might be behind their poor form.
He said: “After last Saturday, and both training sessions, the warm-up looked very promising but we failed to deliver. There wasn’t a lot of positives.
“Two or three of them came out with a half-decent game but everybody else was well below par.”
He continued: “It’s going to be tough. They’ve got to start understanding that they’ve got to earn the right to play. Last year we had one of the best defences in the league and this year we have one of the worst.
“Is it confidence? Is it because we’re just not as good? Is it because they’re not bothered? We’ve highlighted that they’re not as fit as last year so we’re trying to put that right but it’s December now and we’re playing catch-up.”
Miller also believes they deserve their mid-table placing. He added: “We’re in that position because that’s where we deserve to be.
“We’re so erratic, we’re definitely playing like a mid-table side at the moment but we’re trying to put things right and we’ll just see what happens.”
The home side took the lead when Clarke headed home from a pin-point Jamie Carroll cross and Pagham thought they’d doubled their lead when Tom Chalaye slid the ball into the net from inside the penalty area but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Nwachukwu equalised for the visitors with a close-range header, but the hosts quickly regained the lead, with Funnell knocking in a long cross in at the far post.
The game then degenerated into a nasty affair and Clarke was sent off after a 21-man brawl on 77 minutes.
YM host near-neighbours Alfold on Saturday.
Horsham YMCA: Jeal, Carden, Evans, Gilbert, Harding, Gedling, Nwachukwu, Wadhams, Ryder, Mobsby, Clarke. Unused: Pavlovic, Frankland, Godfrey, Sim, Eales.