UNITED slipped to a very disappointing defeat at Braintree Town on Saturday afternoon after first-half goals from Sean Marks and Simeon Akinola.
The Gulls failed to manage a single shot on target and manager Chris Hargreaves conceded the performance was ‘unacceptable’, as he apologised to the travelling Yellow Army.
Playing into a strong breeze in the first-half, United were up against from the start and Braintree deservedly took the lead on 20 minutes when Marks looped a header over Martin Rice after a cross from Jamie Mulley.
The second goal on the stroke of half-time was a killer blow and came from a routine set-piece, with Akinola nipping in front of Rice to effectively seal the points for the home team.
Toby Ajala whipped a free-kick over the bar and Courtney Richards struck the side-netting, but it was a tepid second-half from the Gulls and there can be no complaints about the final result.
“Credit to Braintree, they were much the better side,” said Hargreaves. “They did all the basic things right, the ugly things. They got the ball forward quicker than us and picked up all the second-balls.
“We were really poor. All our preparation was right but too many players didn’t deliver. Normally, my team is at it, whether we win or lose, and I can only apologise to our supporters because that wasn’t a team that reflected me as a person or a manager.”
United (4-4-2): 1 Martin Rice; 22 James McQuilkin (3 Tom Cruise 30), 5 Krystian Pearce, 21 Angus MacDonald, 25 Levi Ives; 7 Louis Briscoe (12 Jordan Chapell 62), 16 Courtney Richards, 6 Ben Harding, 10 Toby Ajala; 24 Duane Ofori-Acheampong (14 Ashley Yeoman 67), 9 Ryan Bowman. Substitutes (not used): 23 Jordan Seabright (GK), 30 Oneil Odofin.
Booked: Pearce, MacDonald, Ives, Ofori-Acheampong
Referee: Nigel Lugg