Met Police chief Jimmy Cooper said his men should hang their heads in shame after watching them hand in the towel on their Ryman Premier League promotion hopes this week.

The Blues crashed 3-1 at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough to leave their nine-game unbeaten run – stretching back to November 26 – in tatters.

Cooper’s men, who had a win-draw-loss record of 9-9-9 prior to Tuesday, are statistically closer to the drop zone than they are the play-
off places that had been the target at the start of the campaign.

A lapse in concentration by the Blues’ fragile defence allowed Beavers midfielder Charlie Moone to set up strike partner Dave Tarpey to put his side 2-1 up moments after Hampton’s Karle Carder had been sent off.

And the 45-year-old manager, who recently celebrated a decade in charge at Imber Court, reckons his men have to buck their ideas up or watch moments like that drag his team in to the relegation mire.

“I’m not going to name players, but they know who they are,” he said.

“We are just not collectively playing well enough at the moment. You could argue that we are in 15th place for a reason.

“Our lack of concentration cost us dearly in the end. We made many mistakes and gifted our opponents with an easy second goal.

“Up to that point we were taking the game, but that goal effectively killed our morale.

“We need to put this defeat behind us and start all over again.

“We need to go into every game knowing that we are capable of beating everyone.

“If we don’t, teams will beat us and we could get sucked into a relegation battle.”

Detective Sergeant Cooper will be without skipper and team motivator Steve Sutherland for the next two games after the defender picked up a knock in midweek.

And the manager has urged his players to find their inner leadership in the centre-back’s absence.

“We are up against teams in a similar position to us and we need everyone to pull together and give their all if we have any chance of winning our next couple of games,” he added.