New Staines Town manager Mahrez Bettache gave his players an on-pitch roasting after they meekly surrendered a 2-1 lead to concede two goals in added time and lose 3-2 to fellow Isthmian League South Central basement boys Hertford Town.

After delivering his hairdryer treatment on Saturday (October 19), Bettache calmed down enough to give an honest assessment of why his team had not been good enough – and also the challenges he faces after taking the reins from Anthony Gale, who stepped down at the start of the month.

The first half saw the Swans go 2-0 up thanks to goals from Ashley Lodge and Aaron Ibe, but Hertford battled back after the break through Samuel Oueniran on 51 minutes and then hit the hosts with two late sucker-punches, courtesy of Percy Kiangebeni and Luke Theo Gymer, during the six minutes which referee Charlie Bullock had added at the end of normal time.

“Regardless of what level you’re playing at, to be 2-0 up and comfortable and lose 3-2 it’s not good enough,” said Bettache.

“They were all over us in the closing stages. We were fantastic in the first half and had lots of energy, but in the second half some players went into their shells – I’m not sure why.”

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