LUKE GEORGE felt Chester let themselves down with their poorest display of the season in the 4-2 defeat at Maidstone United.
The Blues shipped three times in the opening 14 minutes and never recovered their composure during a dreadful first 45 minutes, with Kevin Lokko netting his second and Maidstone's fourth on the stroke of half-time.
Although the Blues fought back in the second-half with goals from top scorer James Alabi and young defender Sam Hughes, they were totally out-played by the Stones and have now lost seven of their past nine matches in league and cup.
Blues' captain George admitted it was a desperately poor first-half showing and accepted the players had let boss Jon McCarthy down.
“It was really poor in that first-half, it was as poor as we've been,” the 24-year-old said. “The start we made, we didn't really give ourselves a chance being three down inside 15 minutes.
“No one is more disappointed in that dressing room than that group of players, we know that sort of performance simply isn't good enough and we'll do everything we can to put it right.
“We weren't at the standards we set for ourselves and I think we've let the gaffer down for the amount of work that he has put in. Obviously some of the goals have come from set pieces too which is something we pride ourselves on defending those.
“We've let ourselves down, the gaffer down, the fans down, but look we will come back in Monday and work hard to prepare for Southport.”
The Blues remain 12th and there is still a 10-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone, but George accepts next weekend's trip to Andy Preece's Southport will now take on added significance as Chester look to shake off their dismal run of form.
“It's four defeats in four and the biggest thing now is to get back in on Monday, look at where we went wrong and put things right before what is a massive game next week,” he continued.
“It's important we don't make it five defeats in five. Every game is big and every game we prepare to win. I wouldn't say we're in a dogfight just yet, we're not around that yet.
“Credit where it's due the fans travel everywhere to support us and the support was fantastic again here. They've kept believing in us and I'd ask they keep believing in us even after that result.
“When it comes to belief, we've got plenty and we've proved a lot of people wrong so far this season compared to how we started the season.”
George was delighted to see team-mate Ross Killock get back onto the pitch as a half-time replacement, having been restricted previously to just 10 minutes of first-team action since his summer arrival at the club.
“Ross has had a bad time of it, I've had my time on the sidelines too so I can sympathise with Ross,” he added.
“It's good to get him back out there and get minutes under his belt. Hopefully he can get a run of games now and regain a starting position.”
Stones boss Jay Saunders was satisfied with the performance from his outfit, who have given their survival bid a real shot in the arm with the three points.
“It was nice to see us finally convert some chances,” he said.
“We attacked with purpose in the first-half and I think our crowd have seen a really good performance here and what we can offer in this league.
“We missed our chance to kill it off in the second-half and Chester could have punished us if they'd taken one or two more chances. So I am a bit disappointed with that but overall it's hard to criticise my players.”
See full story in the Leader