WANDERERS boss Ian Evatt has leapt to the defence of his keeper Billy Crellin after Saturday’s defeat against Newport County.

Criticism was aimed at Fleetwood loanee Crellin from some quarters for his part in the two Newport second-half goals, which condemned the Whites to a third straight league defeat of the season.

Evatt was more concerned, however, at the standard of defending in the build-up and the slow reactions from his players once Crellin had parried shots from Josh Labadie and Ryan Haynes, which led to Tristan Abrahams tapping in from close range.

Evatt said: “I don’t think there is any criticism (of Crellin) – he saved both. I would have liked to see a better reaction from my defenders for the second phase. “I also didn’t like the fact that for the second one we invited him inside the box to shoot rather than keeping him down the line.

“It’s poor decision making again. The first one, we allowed their midfielder to run off the back of our midfield – and they are very good at that. He got the ball out wide and they had the shot, Billy saved it and there’s no reaction.

“Second one he did exactly the same thing.”

Evatt still felt his team carved out enough attacking chances to have claimed a share of the points but – not for the first time this season – their inability to take them magnified their deficiencies at the other end of the pitch.

“Other than the first 20 minutes where they dominated from set pieces and should have scored there wasn’t that much in the game,” he said. “We had the better open play opportunities but we didn’t take them and that’s the difference at the moment, we’re not good enough in both boxes.

“We’re not clinical enough when we are creating chances, and we are creating them. Defensively we’re not doing enough to keep the ball out of the net.”