JOHN DEACEY has called for his Tadcaster Albion players to “wake up and smell the coffee” after suffering a 2-1 defeat at fellow relegation battlers Pickering Town.

Pickering broke the deadlock through striker Billy Logan on 63 minutes but Tadcaster looked set to leave Mill Lane with a draw with Eddie Church equalised in the penultimate minute of normal time.

However, in added time, former Albion forward Omar Sanyang reaffirmed the hosts’ lead to seal only a vital win for the Pikes.

The result leaves Tadcaster just one point above Pickering, who occupy the final automatic relegation place in the Pitching In Northern Premier League east.

Now on a run of six defeats in their last seven matches, manager Deacey did not hide from Tadcaster’s predicament.

“We are in a relegation battle and we’ve got to wake up and smell the coffee because we’re in a relegation battle,” Deacey told the club’s YouTube channel.

“When you’re coming to Pickering, who are in the relegation battle with us, and losing the game, that’s what you’re going to be in too, that relegation battle.

“We had the chance to try and pull away a little bit but we didn’t take the chances.

“It’s a massive blow. Now every game is a cup final for Tadcaster Albion and the players have got to realise that.

“The players have to realise now that every game is vital. You’ve got to try and pick up something from every single game.”

While Deacey did not go as far as criticising the work-rate of his side, he lamented the decision-making on show in Ryedale.

“I can’t knock the effort, we worked hard and put a shift in but we just made stupid choices,” he said. “Our decisions all day long were the incorrect decisions.

“The decision-making was absolutely poor from the first minute to the 94th-minute.

“We weren’t holding play up correctly, pushing players in the back, giving cheap free-kicks away.

“When we did (make good decisions), for around 20 minutes of the first half when I thought we got on top, but then again we started poorly in the second half.

“Straight from the kick-off, we gave the ball away and gave them the incentive to be in the game.

“We got back in the game and made it 1-1 and we thought we were in the ascendancy but then we gave away an absolute slack goal.

“Somebody fell over in their move and then we just did not defend correctly.”

With 16 league matches still to be played this season, there remains plenty of time for Tadcaster to work themselves out of a battle against the drop.

The battle against relegation is not one that Deacey is shying away from though.

He said: “When I came to the club, we were five points from 10 games and now we’re 16 points from 20 games.

“So we have improved and we’ve got 11 points from 10 games but we need to improve a lot more from that.

“The players, the management and everybody at the club has got to really rally round and all be in this battle.

“Lets make sure that we are still in this league next season.”