SCOTT Naylor’s post-match scowl at Bloomfield Road said it all. Oldham’s boss wasn’t a happy man after watching Roughyeds blow a 20-0 interval lead at Blackpool in what might well turn out to be the defining half-match of this Big Dipper of a season.
Up one minute, down the next, Naylor’s men are putting their club, their coaches and their supporters through the mangle — and it hurts.
Swinton came back to go 24-20 ahead with ten minutes left, but Roughyeds responded with an Adam Clay try in the corner. Lewis Palfrey’s kick off the touchline seemed to dip inside the far post, but both touchjudges ruled ‘no goal’ and then Matty Beharrell dropped a one-point winneer to add salt into an already-gaping wound.
Said Naylor: “We were brilliant in the first half; shocking in the second. We talked about a few things at half-time, when we were comfortably ahead, but the players then went out and did just the opposite.
“We quickly lost our momentum and once that happened we couldn’t get it back. Swinton are too good a side to be let loose deep in your own half and once they got a roll on we were in trouble.
“No team should lose though when going out for the second half with a 20-0 lead. There’s only one way that can happen — players not having a go.
“A few decisions went against us, especially when the Lewis Palfrey conversion late on was scrubbed out by the touch judges, but we had 13 men on the pitch at any given time, like Swinton, and we allowed the game to slip out of our grasp.
“It pains me to say it but the second half was the lowpoint of the season so far. We had no heart; no desire.
“It will take us a long time to get over this. In my capacity as a coach, it’s as low as it gets — coach of a team that doesn’t show desire.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to since the end of the game says the goal should have stood.”
Swinton boss John Duffy said: “I was honest with my players at half-time. I wanted a response and I got one, but there were still periods of the second half when we were under the pump.”