Crowd trouble at the end of Worksop Town’s defeat by Tadcaster Albion summed up a disappointing evening for Mark Shaw.
The manager watched on in dismay as a group of locals tried to start a fight with visiting fans, while Tigers officials, stewards and even players waded in to break it up.
An ugly incident wasn’t what the Worksop boss needed to end the night, when his side had just lost 2-1 to the league leaders.
He said: “It just makes you wonder why you do it.
“You come here, put your heart and soul into something and try to build something that makes the town proud. Both sets of supporters have done well, singing, but that kind of thing is really poor.
“It’s not what we want here at Worksop, and you see people like Anne Keep in the middle of it, and the players. That shows how much they care about things.
On the pitch Worksop were second best and found themselves with a mountain to climb going in at the break 2-0 down.
Shaw lamented the way his men set about their business at 7.45pm on Wednesday.
“Terrible, terrible start. They’ve come flying out of the blocks and we’ve conceded a soft goal.
“We didn’t come out the blocks with the same endeavour they did, which is extremely disappointing for me in such a big game.
“In the first half we didn’t really create anything of real meaning.”
With a crowd of almost 900 watching on, the stage was set for Shaw’s young side to showcase their ability, but apparent stagefright set in.
“I’ve told our lads, our game plan is to work the opposition and keep moving the ball. “That’s important and when we don’t do that, when we’re afraid to play we look an ordinary side.
“We’re a gifted group and we had too many players tonight who didn’t want to show what they can do in front of a good crowd.
“It’s about the players being braver.”
Shaw must now lift his players, some of whom are struggling for fitness, for another tough test in the form of Saturday’s trip to Pickering Town.
He said: “I hope I get some bodies back, there will be some changes.
“People who haven’t been doing it need a rest, I’ll be making changes.
“But Hadfield and Henshaw are probably a week away, we’re almost down to the bare bones again.
“You can’t get your best side out, it’s frustrating. Cottingham takes another holiday, players get injured, it’s frustrating.
“We’ve had a spell of winning nine games in a row, now we’re going to have to go and win another nine.”