CALDICOT Castle were accused of being “like Jekyll and Hyde” after they lost 2-1 at home to Thornwell Red & White last Saturday.
Castle manager David Adamson also admitted his team were “awful” and “lethargic”.
“We were well up for the match against Mathern a week earlier,” he said. “That was like our cup final with everyone wanting the ball but this week we showed our Jekyll and Hyde side.
“We were awful from start to finish and the players looked sluggish which is a symptom of the poor training turn-outs.
“The players looked like they only had to turn up to win whereas Thornwell were up for it from the start, played good football and deserved to beat us.”
Third in Division Three before the match, a win would have put extra pressure on second-placed Cwm while the title looks like it’s Sebastopol’s to lose.
Without the influential McKeon brothers, Scott and James, who were unavailable, Adamson felt his team was still capable of beating a Thornwell side languishing in the division’s bottom four.
But Terry Woodward, Thornwell’s player-manager had planned his strategy well.
“We knew we couldn’t let them settle,” he said.
“They used the long ball a lot but we coped very well with that and with Matthew Divers in top form, I thought we could take the points.
“We haven’t been able to field a settled side throughout the season but we played well and came back from a goal down.”
Castle took the lead just before half-time when a corner taken on the left by Sam Bowley eluded everyone and dropped in at the far post.
But after the break Divers scored an equaliser. He won possession about 35-yards out on the right, made some space for himself with a drag-back before curling a great shot into the top left corner of Castle’s net.
He then turned provider, popping up on the left to slip the ball past advancing keeper Dave Hayward for Dean Corbett to slide home.
However, only a point-blank save by Thornwell keeper Dan Northey in the dying seconds denied Castle a point.
Meanwhile, Mathern took over third place on goal difference with a 3-3 draw at Ponthir.
Rory Prettyjohn put Mathern ahead on 15 minutes but two breakaway goals meant the visitors trailed 2-1 at the break. Wayne Duffield equalised but Ponthir again took the lead through a penalty, Tom Marmont equalised towards the end.