Thirteenth in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division, Athersley Recreation shrugged off that heavy home defeat to Hemsworth last weekend when a 20th-minute penalty, converted by Lee Garside, gave them a crucial three points with a win over Barton Town (11th) at Sheerien Park- but for Swans’ Manager David Ricardo, it was an afternoon to forget.
“Saturday’s performance hurt me, as for the first 45 minutes the majority showed a lack of attitude and application and didn’t want to muck in and do the basics well,” David told TBG Editor Craig Kendall. “I don’t say this lightly as I believe in the players, but we cannot go from performing like we have against strong sides such as Penistone and Worksop to turning up like big time Charlies. Take nothing away from Athersley, who dug in, and for the first 45 won 90% of the battles around the park.”
“In the second half, we changed shape and began to get some decent opportunities but a lack of desire to get on the end of crosses and some decent keeping meant we could have been there until midnight and we wouldn’t have scored,” David mourned. “There were some good performances mixed in there but not enough to go and change the game. I actually said, two minutes before the penalty was scored, to my Assistant James (Bennett) that whoever scored first would find it hard to lose the game – and that was the case.”
“There will be changes in personnel now, but not wholesale changes as I believe in the majority.”