Stevenage caretaker manager Darren Sarll pointed the finger at his own side’s deficiencies after they surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to Northampton on Saturday.
Few would have blamed Sarll for cursing his side’s luck after Ricky Holmes struck in the 95th minute but the Boro boss instead pinpointed the mistakes made in the build up to both Fraser Franks’ red card and Holmes’ winner.
On that last-gaps goal, Sarll said: “There was only about an inch for him to put it in and the lad found that inch.
“You could feel how disheartening and how disappointing that was all the way through the stadium.
“We’ve got to defend it better. We’ve got to force him into wide areas and make him cross instead of coming in and getting shots off.
“There’s an element of bad luck but it’s a massive technical fault there and it’s got to be addressed and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Franks was sent off 12 minutes from time when hauling down Sam Hoskins as the young striker ran through on goal and that sparked a dominant period for the visitors which ended with the winner.
Sarll added: “At the time there were no complaints but there’s been a few things said within our four walls that lead me to think there might have been something going on before that may have affected that decision.
“I’ll go away and look at that but Fraser and Luke (Wilkinson) should have dealt with the situation in the first place because the striker is in that position because of poor defending, let’s make no bones about it.”
Luke Wilkinson headed Stevenage into a 2-0 lead inside half an hour as the defender got on the end of two Dean Parrett set-pieces but James Collins pulled one back shortly before half-time to give Northampton hope.
“We all know that when it’s 2-0 the third goal is absolutely key and the manner in which we’ve conceded it is disappointing and very badly timed and changed a lot at half-time for both managers,” added Sarll.
“Our boys had a real fight for the football club and the errors we made came out of inexperience and game knowledge and it wasn’t for a lack intensity or commitment.
“Sometimes you get those inexperienced moments with inexperienced players but I’m looking to my experienced players now and they’ve got to do better and do more to ensure those deficiencies are made up for.”