SHRIVENHAM Town were up against it even before their eventual 2-0 defeat at Ascot kicked-off on Saturday.
A serious accident on the M4 meant boss Sam Collier and four other players arrived just 15 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time, with the referee unwilling to give them any extra time to prepare.
Despite their hasty introduction Shrivvy gave a good account of themselves in the 90 minutes which followed but, with just two minutes remaining, their fortunes changed when Collier was dismissed for a harsh second bookable offence. Ascot took the lead almost immediately following the player-manager’s red card before grabbing a second with what was almost the final kick of the game to end the contest.
Collier was frustrated, not only with his first red card in senior football but also with his side once again failing to pick up the win their impressive performance probably deserved.
“There were some positives to take but it all started horrendously when myself and four other players arrived at 2.45pm because of a serious accident on the M4, but the ref refused to move the kick-off because we were there in time,” he said.
“We were up against it from the word go but we started brightly and played well, I can’t fault the guys again as we went in at half-time 0-0 and we were the better side. We had some chances but we just couldn’t take them.
“Then I got sent off, which has never happened to me before in men’s football, and they’ve scored almost immediately after. If I hadn’t been sent off I strongly believe we would have got something out of it.”
Collier is still yet to taste victory since taking charge of the side but has been impressed with the way his players have responded to the challenge in recent weeks.
“We couldn’t’ have asked for a worse run of games really because we’ve played second in the league twice and also faced the teams in third and fourth, with only one of them at home,” he said.
“I don’t want to say every week that we played well and just didn’t get anything out of it but it’s really haard to be negative when the boys have played so well.
“We held out for 88 minutes against a side in the thick of the title race so I have to be proud of the players for that.”