UNDER-FIRE boss Brendon King put a positive spin on Saturday’s debacle against Stourbridge by praising his team for not giving up after being reduced to nine men.

Sam Poole and Kyle Critchell both saw red for the Terras either side of half-time in the 5-1 defeat which was littered with ill-discipline and calamitous errors.

However, King surprisingly refused to condemn his players afterwards and instead chose to praise the majority of them for their whole-hearted commitment, which is unlikely to go down well with many of his critics.

He told Echosport: “Everything we worked on in the days leading up to the game came off in the opening 40 minutes.

“We limited them to very few chances and we looked a totally different side to the one that lost the previous week in the Trophy.

“We then conceded a poor goal, which was down to a bit of miscommunication between Scott Walker and Stephen Reed, but then res-ponded with an equaliser from Mark Ford and at that stage we were well in the game.

“However, not for the first time this season, we then switched off from the restart and some good passing and movement by them led to Sam getting sent off for bringing down one of their lads in the box.

“It was a naive challenge and those are the things he needs to learn from because at 2-1 down with 10 men, we suddenly had a mountain to climb.

“We told the lads at the break that no matter what happens we wanted them to roll their sleeves up and have a good go, and I felt they did that.

“We started the second half well and even after Kyle got dismissed we never stopped chasing.

“It was always going to be tough in the later stages but the work-rate never dropped and although I am extremely disappointed with the result, I was proud of the way we kept going to the end.”

Critchell’s departure proved the main talking point after the final whistle and King was keen to give his view.

He added: “Luke Benbow had already been booked when he caught Kyle with an elbow. The lads felt it was a dangerous challenge but the referee said he did not see an arm raised.

“Kyle then came off for treatment only for the officials to wave him back on in an active area, which was completely wrong.

“Still a bit dazed and pumped up by what had just happened to him, Kyle then went in and took the ball only to collide with one of their lads.

“He caught him on the shinpad and because of that noise and their players’ protests the referee decided to send him off.

“I think it looked a lot worse than what it was and on another day he might have got away with a booking.

“We also felt we could have had a penalty. Ben Joyce is convinced his leg was clipped in the second half but it wasn’t given.”

The defeat leaves Weymouth in 13th spot in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division, just five points above the drop-zone having played more games than most.

*Weymouth Reserves’ game at Swanage Town & Herston in the Magna Dorset Premier League was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.