Saints were blown away by the Nuneaton Griff goal machine at The Pingles on Wednesday night, crashing to their heaviest defeat of the season, writes David Hucker.
New signings Nathan Carro, Liam Cawley and Charlie Cook all made their debuts for Southam, with the returning Aaron Cheshire, Josh Turton and Luke Wilson also included in the starting line-up.
Griff came into this encounter on the back of an 8-1 win at Coton Green in the FA Vase and took the lead after just two minutes when Callum Regan turned a cross from the left into his own goal.
Danny Edmond doubled the advantage in the seventh minute, getting on the end of a free-kick unchallenged, before Saints had their first effort on goal, keeper George Woodward easily holding Wilson’s long-range effort.
Griff went three up in the 34th minute when a good move cut open the Saints defence and, although Carro saved the first shot, Luke Shorthouse was well placed to put the ball away.
They increased their lead in the 63rd minute with a an effort from outside the area from Kieron Brehon and made it five from a short corner courtesy of substitute Aden Moore.
With the floodgates well and truly open, Carro misjudged a hopeful lob, dropping the ball at the feet of Moore who could not miss and Moore then completed his hat-trick with the seventh from a Dave Barnett cross.
After winning his first match in charge, manager Lee Constable’s honeymoon period came to an abrupt end at Triumph Athletic on Saturday when Saints were knocked out of the Coventry Charity Cup by the Coventry Alliance Division One leaders.
Saints started brightly, but the early promise was not to last as they failed to clear a corner and Curtis Cutts scored the opener with the aid of the crossbar.
Another corner resulted in a second for Triumph through Jordan Carruthers, who then got his side’s third from a quick breakaway from the home half on the stroke of half-time.
Saints were left with a mountain to climb in the second half and, having made no impression, the match was well and truly over in the 70th minute when two defensive errors gift-wrapped a fourth for Callum Ward.
Tomorrow, Saints visit Pilkington XXX before hosting Premier Division side Stourport Swifts in the Polymac Packaging League Cup at Banbury Road on Tuesday (7.45pm).