Whitchurch Alport captain,Darren Campion was brutal in his assessment of Saturday's home defeat to bottom of the table Abbey Hey.

Last week, Reds' assistant manager, Steve May, billed the game as a 'must not lose' affair but a late winner forced Campion to admit that Alport were now in a relegation scrap.

"We told the players before the game that irrespective of the result today that we were in trouble of being relegated," said Campion.

"I don't know whether or not that put pressure on the players but I'm sure that some of them don't look at the league tables and the table doesn't lie. It's so frustrating watching us miss chance after chance and it's been going on for a while now.

"Put simply, if you can't score goals and you can't keep clean sheets, then you're going to lose football matches. The opposition will always get at least one chance in a game and today they (Abbey) stuck their's away.

"As a back four I thought we did okay today but of course in that one crucial moment we've let them in and they have punished us."

Earlier in the campaign Alport had managed to get a run going which brought about six wins and two draws from eight league games and how they could do with another similar return going into the last 10 matches.

In truth though, the Reds look like a side devoid of confidence despite going into Saturday's game on the back of a 4-0 win in their last outing against Prees in the Ethelston Cup Semi Final.

"Without being disrespectful to the villagers, step five football provides a much sterner test.

The stats as they stand show just two wins in their last 14 league outings and unless they can improve on that and quickly, then Campion's warning could well be the frightening scenario that lies ahead.

"We've got a great squad here and we are underperforming there can be no question about that," said the newly appointed Alport captain. "When Dan Skelton hit the bar early in the second half you do begin to wonder if luck has deserted us at a crucial time in the season.

"We should have had a penalty when Alex Hughes was wrestled to the ground and he'd only been on the pitch for about 30 seconds. How the referee and his assistant couldn't see that is beyond me.

"After the game I commended the ref on his performance and told him he was one of the better referees we've had this season. But at the same time, I berated him for missing what should have been an obvious pen. His take on things was that it was a six and two threes and that's why he allowed play to go on."

Campion admitted Alport were deflated at having not picked up at least a point they deserved.

He added: "If the game had finished goalless we would have been disappointed with that, so to get beaten was a devastating blow. In the changing rooms after the match we asked the players to open up to us and anything they wanted to get off their chest to do it right there in then.

"We had about 20 minutes with everyone wanting to give an opinion so from that perspective we could at least see that there was hunger and passion within the group.

"We are going to need that in every game. It's no use feeling sorry for ourselves and today's gone there's nothing we can do about it. What we can do is make sure that we stay in this division after having worked so hard to get here in the first place.

"What does concern me is that there are one or two players here who are quite literally going through the motions. That will invoke change but we can't carry any players; this opportunity to play for this football club should be a privilege.

"Our supporters aren't stupid and when you can hear them out on the pitch cheering our substitutions and saying 'about time' then perhaps the substitutions might have been earlier and might have influenced the outcome. We'll never know that but we have to find an inner belief within the group to dig us out of this hole.

"We have three very tough -looking away games before home soil. We have to make sure that we take something from those three matches."

On Saturday, Alport travel to old adversaries Litherland REMYCA at Litherland Sports Park. The sides have met on seven separate occasions since the Reds joined the NWCFL and Alport have yet to record a single victory.