KEITH Hill admits his side were “embarrassed” by Accrington Stanley as they fell to their heaviest-ever third-tier defeat.

A 7-1 scoreline at the Wham Stadium saw Wanderers crash back down to earth after three successive victories in the league.

Daryl Murphy scored after just four minutes for Bolton but a red card for Josh Earl signalled the start of Stanley’s charge and two goals apiece for Colby Bishop, Sean McConville and Offrande Zanzala plus one from Dion Charles gave John Coleman’s side their biggest victory since returning to the Football League in 2006.

Hill hopes the result can be treated in isolation but could not defend the performance.

“I’ve still got to collect my thoughts properly but we weren’t at the races,” he said. “It’s a difficult one to explain. Hopefully it is not too damaging and we have recovered from something like that before.

“I will try my best to put it into isolation. I think it’s raw, I am disappointed, I am angry but I am trying my best not to over-react and look at the situation we are in.

“Our fate certainly hasn’t been decided today but we have been embarrassed by a team that worked exceptionally hard and were very honest.”

Asked what upset him most about the result, Hill said it had been a surprise to see his team out-worked in such a manner.

“The performance without the ball upset me most,” he said. “We have been very good, very competitive in duels, good defensively whether it was the striker or the defenders. Today we didn’t seem to have a defensive soul. I didn’t see that coming and that’s the biggest shock.

“There were too many crosses coming into the area and we weren’t dealing with the ones that were, it was a bit of both. You have to defend better. I don’t think we underestimated them and I have been here before and I know the challenges Accrington put against you. We didn’t match the physical challenge at all.

“As a consequence, we couldn’t play, we had no rhythm. And that isn’t just the defenders.

“You are looking for more soul from your team, more purpose, more determination.

“These players have got character and I won’t throw them under the bus. To get to where they have got it a short-term minor miracle and we have to remember that.

“That performance and scoreline should be a reminder to the players of how hard they have worked and how hard they have to work to keep this going.”