Yeovil Town boss Mark Cooper accepted responsibility after seeing his table-topping side capitulate to a 4-1 defeat at Welling United on Saturday.

The Glovers’ boss said he “maybe got the selection wrong” after a second half hat-trick from former player Tristan Abrahams ended an unbeaten league run stretching back to the end of August, and called on fans to back his players.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Ian Randall after the game, Cooper said: “Welling deserved to win. If you take the first 20 minutes out of it where we controlled it and we looked really dangerous, we ran hard, got the goal, but after that they ran harder, they jumped higher, sprinted faster, competed more and that’s why we lost.

There’s no excuse. We have to compete, and that’s what we’ve done so well, we’ve competed against teams. If you take for granted, we didn’t run hard enough today. We can talk about tactics and talk about selection, all our big guns ended up on the pitch and they were better than us until the last 10 minutes when we changed the shape, got an extra man on the pitch and solidified in the middle a bit, put two up and then we started to play a little bit, but up until then they were miles better than us.”

Jordan Young celebrates his opener after 16 minutes at Welling United.

Having gone ahead through a fine strike from Jordan Young after 16 minutes, Welling levelled seven minutes later when Kain Adom levelled with a fine strike before three goals in 11 minutes from Abrahams rounded off a convincing win for the home side.

Asked about Abrahams’ performance, Cooper said: “With his ability, he should be playing a lot higher. I’ve tried to sign him before but have not been out getting anywhere near it, but today he made our centre-backs look like Under-12s players.

But listen, our players have been fantastic, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of what they’ve done, I’ll take the blame for today. Maybe I’ve got the selection wrong. We need to back the players, we need to give them all the support and encouragement we and be ready for a really exciting, really tough game next Sunday (in the FA Cup) at Wrexham.

Having put his side ahead, Young had a great opportunity to add a second soon after and, having come on for Sonny Cox after the hour mark, Murphy had a great chance to make it 3-2 just before Abrahams completed his hat-trick.

Cooper said: “At 1-0 we were not in really any danger and then we make a mistake in the middle of the pitch and let the ball bounce and the the lad has scores a good strike, but fancied Youngy it score to make it 2-0. Then put Muroh on to do what he does best with his score that he’s allowed to miss now and again. He’s human, he’s had a bit of fluid on his knee and it might have affected him, but he is allowed to miss now and again and he’s our top-scorer.

But, with third-placed Hampton & Richmond the only winners in the National League South’s top seven, the defeat means Yeovil still sit eight points clear at the top of the division.

Second-placed Aveley were held to a 1-1 draw by a late equaliser at W*ymouth whilst Bath City, who sit in fourth, were held to a 2-2 draw at Farnborough, which still leaves them nine points behind the Glovers.

Cooper said: “We’ve played 19 (league) games, which means we have got another 27 to play and we have just got to keep going. It’s it was never meant to be easy and I think it’s important  we don’t lose sight of what we’ve done and we we stay focused and we stayed together.


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