CRADLEY Town boss Andy Wyton says "shocking" first half defending was to blame for his side's loss against rivals Tividale.

The Hammers suffered a 5-3 home defeat last Saturday as Tivi went top of the West Midlands Premier League table.

Lee Chilton hit a hat-trick for Cradley but it proved in vain after a disappointing first half saw them go in 4-1 behind at the break.

Wyton said: "If you give teams a four-goal start then you won't win games.

"The defending was shocking in the first half. They have hit long balls over the top and we just haven't dealt with it.

"There were three or four players who just haven't turned up in the big game again. They know who they are and they know they have to do better."

However, despite the imposing deficit, Cradley fought back with a strong second half showing and made it 4-3 as Chilton completed his hat-trick.

Tividale sealed the win soon after, though, when converting from the penalty spot to restore their two-goal cushion.

Wyton added: "I had a few words with them at half time but I couldn't fault their second half performance at all.

"We knew we could hurt them and we showed that in the second half. That is now what we have to build on.

"Once we got back to within a goal I thought we'd go on and win it, but we've then quickly given a penalty away.

"It's disappointing and very frustrating because we know that the first half defending has cost us."

Cradley will look to hit back when they go to Bewdley Town this Saturday.

"It's another tough game but we need to reproduce the football we played in the second half," added the boss. "If we do that then Bewdley won't be able to live with us.

"We're not far off, we didn't play badly on Saturday but it's clear where we need to improve."

The Hammers will be without TJ Munthali this weekend after he picked up his fifth booking of the campaign.