Harps boss slams lack of commitment

HARPENDEN Town boss Ryan Thompson feels the lack of commitment from some squad members is undermining the club’s season.

Town slipped to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Ampthill Town on Tuesday night despite turning in what Thompson described as an excellent performance and the former Park Street boss says he can’t fault the commitment of his players who are turning up regularly.

“We’re putting square pegs in round holes and something’s going to give soon,” Thompson told the Herts Advertiser.

“That was probably the best performance I’ve been involved in and yet we’ve come away empty handed. I have never been so gutted after a league defeat.”

Jimmy Warner struck from Matt Day’s pass to cancel out Stuart Reynold’s opener for Ampthill but Town’s makeshift defence was unravelled by the visitors who netted a winner through Sean Cooksey.

“We battered them, pulled them to bits but we couldn’t get that bounce or final touch,” said Thompson.

“We were probably guilty of trying to take too many touches in the final third or after beating one man trying to beat another.

Most Read

“I can’t believe how good the level of football we produced was on a pitch that was at best a quagmire.”

Despite having a 22 man squad this season Thompson revealed he can count on one hand the number of times he’s been able to name a full substitutes bench.

“I can’t blame the lads who’ve stepped in and covered, it’s the lads who don’t turn up. If they are there then you win that game but some would rather be at home with their feet up or out shopping with the missus.”

The Town boss says the club’s lack of facilities hinder their attempts to get fresh faces in and says the club can’t compete with sides who pay their players.

“If I could get players in to replace them I would but we don’t pay and so people aren’t interested.

“Young goalkeeper Daryl Baker has come in, he’s never played Saturday football before. He was playing for the reserves and when that folded he asked if he could come and sit on the bench and be number two to Lordy (Matt Lord) just for the experience. Lordy’s got injured and he’s got his chance and he has been absolutely brilliant since he’s come in. His attitude is fantastic.

“Aaron Clarke has come over and he’s a lovely lad too, he just wants to play football.

“We’ve got eight lads in our squad who are young and have never played at this level before and fair play to them for performing how they are. They just want to play football and play to the highest level they can.”

n Town went down fighting at Berkhamsted in the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy on Saturday.

Matt Wardle opened the scoring in the 26th minute pouncing on a defensive mistake to score from a corner.

A wonderful free kick from James Armstrong extended Berko’s lead 15 minutes from time but Warner ensured it was a nervy final five minutes with a goal for Town.