GATESHEAD manager Ian Bogie has branded his own team a “soft touch” after they threw three points away against mediocre Ebbsfleet in another giveaway in the Conference.
The Tynesiders capitulated after grabbing a first-half lead through Micky Cummins and they should have added to that scoreline before leaving the back door wide open to hand Liam Daish’s side a rare away win.
With Gateshead in 10th after the defeat, Bogie was realistic about challenging for the play-offs with title winning form now needed to make the cut.
He told The Journal: “There are 12 games to play and a lot of football, but at the same time we are not going to get anywhere playing like this.
“That is no disrespect to Ebbsfleet, they came here and gave it a go.
“Ebbsfleet have came to ‘soft touch’ Gateshead without beating a team in the top 11 all season and come here and score three goals.
“It has been a bad habit for us and there have been bad mistakes made.”
Bogie may even dip into the emergency loan market with a host of players available from near-neighbours Newcastle after 12 reserve players were shown the door in February after learning their futures will lie elsewhere.
Bogie said: “Ultimately we will have to get out better players.
“I know there is a lot to play for still, but the display in the second half was unacceptable.”
Just 15 minutes had elapsed for Gateshead on Saturday and it looked so good when Craig Baxter cut the ball back for Micky Cummins, who drove home from six yards to net his 10th of the season.
Numerous chances were then wasted before Ebbsfleet forced their way back into it.
Liam Enver-Marum smacked a free-kick off the bar from 20 yards, with Barrett stooping low to divert a header past Paul Farman on 55 minutes.
Then, with 12 minutes left, sub Nathaniel Pinney crossed from the right and Enver-Marum beat James Curtis to the ball to stab home.
With three minutes left Curtis pulled fouled Gozie Ugwu in the box before the on loan Reading man calmly stroked home the penalty.
Jon Shaw’s late header after Josh Gillies’ cross in injury time was not enough to salvage even a point.
GATESHEAD: Farman, Baxter, Curtis, Clark, Rents, Chandler, Turnbull, Cummins (Hatch 69), O’Brien (Gate 90), Shaw, Marwood (Gillies 69). Subs (not used): Deasy, Magnay. Goals: Cummins 15, Shaw 90.
EBBSFLEET UNITED: Cronin, Stone, Lorraine, Smith, Phipp (Herd 56), Shakes, Marwa, Barrett, Enver-Marum (Stavrinou 90), Ugwu, Willock (Pinney 56). Subs (not used): McNeil, Azeez.
Booked: Barrett, Marwa, Herd. Goals: Barrett 55, Enver-Marum 78, Ugwu 88 pen.
Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside) Attendance: 754