WEYMOUTH manager Bobby Wilkinson admitted his side “folded” due to a lack of confidence late in the 2-0 defeat to Dover Athletic.
Wilkinson’s men had shut Dover out for 77 minutes and had the brighter moments of an uninspiring match before Mitch Brundle’s deflected effort put the visitors ahead.
Three minutes later, Weymouth were caught with nine players upfield for a corner and Luke Wanadio surged 60 yards before lashing home for a superb solo goal to seal all three points.
Defeat kept winless Weymouth bottom of the Vanarama National League South table with just two points from nine matches.
READ MORE: Weymouth 0-2 Dover Athletic - match report
In his post-match interviews with the club and gathered media, Wilkinson was initially bullish about his side’s performance in the opening hour before clarifying his remarks.
When put to him that the performance, that yielded only four shots on target, was “not great” he said: “First 60 minutes we were good, in the game, competing. So, I disagree there.
“It’s frustrating with the two goals. We had a corner and they’ve scored off our corner.
“You’ve got to believe that if we’re attacking you’ve got to defend. I’ve seen some great signs but then I’ve seen some sloppy signs as well.
“I’m not one of these managers that makes excuses. We’ve done really well for 60 minutes, had chances, compact, but when we lost that first goal I’ve seen a massive change.
“If you lose a goal, don’t lose a second. Stay in the game at least. I’ve seen that belief change straight away.
“That was the mentality of: ‘We’re going to lose here’ and I was a bit confused with that. We’re still in the game.
“We played really well against a good side who were organised. But it’s really frustrating for me at half-time when you lose your captain (Xander McBurnie) through an injury.
“When you lose Rosey (Ahkeem Rose) because he can only play 45 minutes, that was key for me to lose them two.
“We tried to adapt, we came out and started well but then we folded.”
Pushed by Echosport on his assessment of what the majority of Weymouth fans felt was a below-par performance, Wilkinson backtracked to a degree.
He said: “I’m trying not to lose a game but I totally respect that (observation).
“It was quite start-stop but they came with a gameplan. Don’t misread it when I say we were good in the first 60 minutes – we were solid.
“We’ve been working on keeping a clean sheet. I can understand the frustration.
“Their gameplan was to be hard to beat, solid and get us on the break – and that’s what they did.
“That’s why I’m frustrated with the goal. If we clear our lines, we’re back on.
“Then it was our corner that they’ve broken on to score. That one is frustrating.
“Let me make that very clear when I talk like that. We looked solid, didn’t look like conceding for the first 60 minutes.
“So, we’ve got something right. You can’t worry about scoring until we keep clean sheets. Goals will come when that belief comes.”
He added: “It’s a big job, everyone knows that, but hopefully the fans have seen a glimpse of us being solid and being hard to beat.
“In fairness, the boys worked hard for me but working hard doesn’t get results. You’ve got to play cute and manage the game.
“We got beat 2-0, we’ve got to go again and we’ve got to try and beat Havant.”
Havant & Waterlooville are currently second in the table and visit the Bob Lucas Stadium tomorrow evening (7.45pm).