LOUTH Town boss Daryl Clare warned his side that their social lives are affecting their performances on the pitch as they slipped to a 3-1 home FA Vase defeat to Dunkirk on Saturday.
The hosts were reeling after throwing away a 1-0 lead to 2-1 against Emsley at Park Avenue on Wednesday, and this time themselves 3-0 down at the break against the Nottingham side and Andy Willoughby’s consolation could not mask a difficult afternoon for the White Wolves.
The visitors included Monserrat international Jay’Lee Hodgson, who was returning after World Cup qualification duty last week.
The White Wolves made a lively start despite their depleted squad, and Jack Wightwick’s early run was well cut out by the Dunkirk defence.
Dunkirk looked dangerous though and after eight minutes took the lead when Alex Haughton to clear the way for Michael Evans to score, with goalkeeper Ian MacTaggart furious.
Louth broke through a few minutes later and an equaliser looked on the cards before the referee’s assistant waved for a debatable offside.
But it was 2-0 on 30 minutes when Houghton charged Danny Stevens out of the way and planted the ball into Louth’s net.
Again the defence seemed to be lacking something. The lively Houghton was then forced off with injury and his replacement Ryan Bowen took advantage of another lapse to make it 3-0 just before half time.
The second half was only a minute old when there was a glimmer of hope for Louth with Willoughby pulling a goal back for the home team. Louth pressed for another but Dunkirk defended well.
Rocky Rawlings was lively after coming on for Town and the side increased their pressure, with skipper Carl Martin going close but it was not to be.
Louth manager Clare, who named himself among the substitutes, said: “We looked leggy and niggly again, we’ve gone from a healthy big competitive squad to a depleted team that looks shattered.
“The effort is never in question but some players`social lives before matches are affecting their performances and they need to understand the importance of game preparation if they want to be part of the club and a successful team.”
Town are back in league action against Pontefract Collieries on Wednesday night at Park Avenue (7.45pm).