Witton Albion manager Brian Pritchard says his side folded in 4-1 defeat at home to Ilkeston

Witton Albion manager Brian Pritchard

Witton Albion manager Brian Pritchard

First published in Football
Last updated
Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Writer

BRIAN Pritchard admitted Witton capitulated against Ilkeston as he assessed a heavy opening day defeat, and warned his players he will not tolerate a repeat.

Albion, in front at half time, later succumbed 4-1 to the Robins to lose in front of their own fans in a campaign curtain-raiser for the first time since 2001.

It left Pritchard with plenty to ponder, more so after an impressive summer that yielded 20 goals in seven games.

“That wasn’t a performance to associate with anything we’ve seen in pre-season,” he rued.

“It wasn’t good enough, and in the second half we’ve taken a thumping.

“I’m most upset at how we folded when they put us under pressure. We just stopped.

“The result looks bad, and I expect a reaction at Rushall on Tuesday.

“If there isn’t one, then we’ve got a problem.”

Pritchard was asked if the enforced absence of injured skipper Sam Barnes, as well as Michael Powell and Alex Titchiner, had influenced his side’s performance.

He replied: “Of course, they’re three big players for us. We missed them, and it was a big blow to lose Sam in midweek.

“But Ilkeston raised their game after half time, and will probably argue they could scored a couple more times.

“We didn’t respond, and need to get to the bottom of why.

“Perhaps one or two believed their own publicity after being praised for how things have gone during pre-season. If that’s the case, then they’ve just had a big reality check.”

He added that Barnes, who damaged a hamstring during training on Tuesday, would likely be ready to return next weekend.

However Powell (knee) and Titchiner (hamstring) will be longer-term absentees.

“Ilkeston came and had a go while we hardly got out of first gear for most of the game,” said Pritchard.

“It’s a wake-up call.”

Witton return to action at Rushall Olympic, who came from behind to draw 1-1 with Frickley Athletic at the weekend, on Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm.

To read a report on Saturday's game, click here: http://bit.ly/Yk4aq4

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