Hawke's Bay United football team's coach Brett Angell described today's 2-0 loss to Hamilton Wanderers as the worst display during his five seasons at the helm of the national league team.
Angell deserves top marks for his honesty. But those will be the only marks dished out to the hosts in the wake of the defeat in their fourth round ISPS Handa Premiership encounter at Napier's Bluewater Stadium.
Their performance was disgraceful. There should have been more hunger and more desperation from the winless outfit.
It's hard to believe Thirsty Whale Hawke's Bay United have top four hopes. Yes there are 14 rounds remaining but it major improvements will be needed Hawke's Bay United are to qualify for the semifinals.
"We're disappointed for ourselves. I didn't see it coming and I don't know what I need to change. From minute one to minute 90 it was unacceptable," Angell said after emerging from a team huddle where several of his players were close to tears.
"Last week we put in a positive performance and had a poor result [a 2-1 loss to Auckland City]. This week it was a poor performance and a poor result."
"We can talk but we have to apply. Yes we missed Maxime [French forward Oliveri who was serving a one game suspension] but not one of our players would have been happy with their individual performance," Angell said.
When it was suggested he may have been a bit harsh on gutsy midfielder Daniel Allan, Angell, agreed Allan stuck to his task.
"We have to perform far better. I can't put a finger on why our performances are so varied. I have to look at myself too," Angell said.
"We lacked energy, intensity and quality ... everything I want in a team. Only we can change it and I will leave no stone unturned in trying to change it," he added.
Tight defensive work from both teams was a feature of the scoreless first half. Hawke's Bay didn't have their first shot on goal until the ninth minute but it was nothing to write home about.
It was another three minutes before referee Ben O'Connell awarded the hosts their first corner but the kick was too heavy.
However Hawke's Bay United were definitely creating opportunities in the first half and finished the spell with six shots on goal, the same number as the visitors.
Striker Sam Mason-Smith was unlucky not to finish off an ideal opportunity in the 18th minute after clever buildup work from fellow striker Paul Ifill and defender Cameron Lindsay.
In the 25th minute Ifill put the ball over the net in another situation where a goal should have been scored. Right winger and captain Birhanu Taye blew an opportunity in the 35th minute.
Hamilton Wanderers earned six corners in the first half, five more than the hosts.
Ifill met more misfortune when an attempt bounced off the right hand post two minutes into the second half. Hamilton opened the scoring in the 54th minute when midfielder Jordan Shaw headed in a rebound off the crossbar.
The conceding of soft turnovers and poor discipline marred the hosts' third quarter. It was a case of more of the same during the fourth quarter.
The visitors extended their lead in the 74th minute when classy striker Tommy Semmy completed a well constructed attack. Hamilton finished the second half with 12 shots on goal, 10 more than Angell's troops ... it was easy to see why Angell described the match in the manner he did.
Hamilton finished the match with 12 corners awarded in their favour and two against.
Hawke's Bay defender Cameron Lindsay was sent off in the 70th minute after tripping Hamilton's Napier City Rovers striker Martin Bueno. The slim hopes the hosts had of any form of a comeback were dashed.
On Saturday the Hawke's Bay United National Youth League team beat their Hamilton Wanderers counterparts 2-1 at Park Island.