HIGHWORTH Town U18s manager Pat Slattery admitted some of his players gave up during their 10-1 Wiltshire County Cup semi-final defeat against Chippenham Town academy on Sunday.

Having taken the lead at the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium, the Worthians conceded a 96th minute equaliser before an extraordinary period of extra-time was played.

With several players unfit to carry on, Highworth resumed the extra 30 minutes with nine men and Chippenham duly began racking up the goals.

Down 5-1 with 15 minutes left to play, some of the visiting players appeared to stop trying – with one player even choosing to dance in front of an indirect free-kick instead of setting up in a wall.

Several half-hearted tackles were put in and the Highworth goalkeeper began wandering from his box, seemingly uninterested by the game after the break.

Manager Slattery had no defence for the actions of some of his players and expressed disappointment at the way the game played out.

He did however explain that his team was struggling for players and after a few went off injured – having not played for six weeks – the Worthians were always likely to struggle against the superior quality and quantity of opposition.

Slattery said: “I don’t deny that they (the players) did give up.

“Instead of carrying on and giving their opponents the respect they deserved, one or two of them just gave up and got a little bit silly.

“They felt there was an injustice done against them with the goal in added time.

“We explained to them that that’s how football is, but you’ve got to be bigger and stronger and braver in times like that.

“We told them in the changing room afterwards that that is not the kind of behaviour that we expect from them.

“If we were in a position to sign other players, then we would possibly do that and give the ones who gave up a period of reflection.

“But that’s not the situation, so we’re trying to get those players to be as mature as they can possibly be from now on.

“I am very disappointed with the whole situation, but I am hoping they’ll learn from it.”