YORK City chief Terry Dolan has blamed the inexperience in his back-line for last night's humiliating 4-1 defeat by Kidderminster Harriers.

Mark Maley, Chris Smith, Matt Hocking and Neville Stamp had struggled to cope with Southend in their first game together as a unit on Saturday.

But against Kidderminster's three-pronged attack of Drewe Broughton, Ian Foster and on-loan Wolves hit-man Colin Larkin they were even more cruelly exposed.

Some City fans even took to waving white handkerchiefs in the air - in a mock surrender - after the fourth goal went in.

And 4-1 was being kind to City, who could have lost by many more, with Kidderminster having 13 clear-cut shots on goal. Goalkeeper Alan Fettis was again their saviour with a number of fine saves.

Gary Hobson did return for the whole of the second half to add cool head to the rawness of 'Terry's Tyros', but having been rushed back from injury Dolan knows it was too much to expect him to solve the problems immediately.

"At the moment our youngsters just cannot cope," he said. "Defensively we just have not got the experience.

"Gary Hobson did come on for 45 minutes, but it is too much to expect him to come straight back and take a control of things.

"We did pull level on the stroke of half-time, and at the break we said to keep it tight, but immediately after they scored two in quick succession. That is one of our problems.

"We are too up and down at the moment - there is no consistency there and that is down to the inexperience of the players.

"The annoying thing is that when we passed the ball about, we looked quite good. The front two (Proctor and Nogan) have developed a good understanding and looked dangerous going forward.

"Proctor had a great chance at 3-1 with a lob and if that had gone in we'd have been right back in it, but our inexperience let us down as they went up to our end and put the game beyond doubt."

Despite the problems with his defence, Dolan remains confident things can get better, especially as he has such a young squad.

"It will improve when we start getting the experience back," he said. "Hobson is now returning, but we have still got John Fielding and now Mike Basham out, so it is a case of continuing with what with got."

Basham damaged his ankle in a collision with Abdou Sall 20 minutes after coming on, while another worry will be over on-loan Sunderland defender Maley, who ran from the pitch - when substituted - to be violently ill.

Both are now doubtful for Saturday's visit of Macclesfield.

And with two players - Maley and Proctor - in on-loan already and no money to spend on players, Dolan has no other choice but to rely on the fit members of his squad to carry on.

"I can't bring any new faces in," he said. "We've already got our loan allocation, while there is no money available to bring in new players. We trimmed the squad in the summer because of this."

Dolan is also refusing to let the 'boo-boys' get to him.

A section of the travelling support began to chant 'Dolan Out' after the fourth goal and at the final whistle.

"It's fine, they can say what they like about me and it doesn't bother me, just as long as they don't get at the players," he added.

Updated: 12:24 Wednesday, October 24, 2001