Boss Dan Marshall issued a rallying call to current and former Kirk Deighton Rangers players to help salvage the club after they hit ‘rock bottom’ on Saturday.
Rangers were without several first team squad members as they were hit for double figures in the Harrogate and District League for the first time under Marshall’s leadership.
Marshall was forced to field a spate of reserve team players in the 10-0 drubbing at the hands of Bedale Town and the lack of players left the club’s second team unable to fulfil their Division One fixture.
“It was a tough day, the hardest defeat I have ever experienced as a player or manager,” said Marshall.
“I can’t point the finger to anyone, we were just beaten by a far superior team on the day.
“We only had three of what was last year’s first team in the squad and we were just found wanting.
“Bedale will go close this year, but we need to try and get some players back and see if we can recruit some new ones.
“Hopefully we have two or three new faces coming to training this week, so hopefully we can get them involved.”
The league winners of two years ago have slumped to three defeats in their opening five matches this season, with Marshall warning the club was going through a “transitional period”.
However, with eight players sidelined with long term injuries
The boss confirmed popular captain Jonty Smith will return in goal this weekend after missing Saturday’s humiliating performance.
“Maybe we had to hit rock bottom before we come out of it, and maybe Saturday was rock bottom,” Marshall added.
“I can’t remember the first team ever being beaten 10-0. It’s a dark mark on my CV, and I do take it personally.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the lads that did play, they gave it their all until the final whistle and I’m grateful for that. But I expect more of myself and we need to talk to players and get them back. Some are not playing through genuine reasons but we need to try and appeal to their better nature.”
Deighton’s reserve team have only played two matches in Division One so far, and the Barr Field outfit have asked the league for help to reschedule more fixtures this month.
Marshall said the lack of first team players was asking too much of the second team squad standing up.
The boss added: “It’s been difficult and frustrating for them. We are asking them to step up and played at a level they don’t really want to play at.
“It’s tough for all teams at the moment, it really is. And I’m sure there will be more that are going to go before the end of the season.
“The Harrogate League have been good to us, but we will have to look at it in a couple of weeks and work out whether we keep the reserves in the league.”