SOUTHAM boss Ian Ray has expressed his disappointment after watching his side fall to an eighth defeat of the season away at fellow Midland League Division One strugglers Stafford Town.
The search of a first win of the new season stretched to ten games on Saturday after the Saints lost 3-0 at Stratford after the home side scored twice in the second half to settle Saturday’s match.
After an even opening period, the Saints fell behind on 13 minutes as errors in defence saw a cut back from the byline and a simple tap in at the far post by Queenton Manase.
Southam were almost gifted an equaliser three minutes later as a free kick into the area was misjudged by Stafford’s keeper Conor Alderman and appeared to be carried over the line and then clawed back before the ‘goal’ could be spotted by the match officials.
On 19 minutes a simple long ball down the middle caught out the visiting defence and Paul Holland looked set to equalise but his lob over the onrushing Alderman went agonisingly wide of the post rather than drop into the net.
Saints were almost immediately punished as Manase inexplicably headed wide for the visitors when he should have scored.
With Alderman looking uncertain under the high ball, Saints saw a goal bound effort blocked on the line on 25 minutes with the follow up from Halpin going wide; and Holland just heading wide from Swain’s free kick on 38 minutes.
The second half saw Stafford largely on top and scoring twice within the space of a minute half way through as first Sol Mohamed and then substitute Frederick Mtumbi applied the finishes – once again the Saints midfield and defence were at fault giving keeper Carro precious little protection.
Thereafter, despite a few flashes of intent from Southam subs Nijjar and Jones, the visitors saw the game out comfortably and returned home up the M6 with all three points.
“After two previous poor home performances we were looking for much better,” said Saints boss Ray.
“We were miles off the pace and too many of the players lacked the effort and attitude required. We expect much better from everyone not just one or two individuals.”