FORMER groundsman Stuart Lambert has taken a swipe at Worcester City manager Andy Preece -- claiming he was made a "scapegoat" for the club's recent poor home results.

Lambert quit just a year into the post following criticism of the poor playing surface at St George's Lane, taking up a new role at Royal Grammar School, Worcester.

Although remarks made about the pitch were not his primary reason for leaving -- the school groundsman's job proving too good to refuse -- the 23-year-old admits "aggravation" proved too much.

Lambert first came under fire in Feb-ruary, when Preece described the pitch as "a tip" after City failed to break down Vauxhall Motors in a drab 0-0 stalemate.

City have dropped 10 points fromtheir last four home games and Preece reckons the surface has contributed towards his side slipping behind in the play-off race.

He insists players cannot string together their natural passing game that is proving so effective on the road.

"Andy Preece could not accept the fact that I was doing my best," said Lambert. "I always got used as a scapegoat if the team failed to win. But two teams have got to play on the same pitch.

"I tried hard but I could not do anything right, no matter what I did. And what hard work I gave was never appreciated. The pitch is never going to change because far too much footbal lis being played on it.

"On Tuesday and Thursday nights, 35 players train at the dressing room end of the ground for two-and-a-half hours and they carve it to pieces."

Lambert and Preece were at loggerheads over the issue of watering the surface before games, while the use of 50 tonnes of sand on the pitch earlier in the campaign also brought criticism.

Lambert said: "I disagreed with watering the pitch. I didn't think it would help and, since the club stopped pumping water from the canal, we did not have the facilities."

Preece said: "Stuart was not a scapegoat. It's a difficult job and I realise he sometimes didn't have the facilities. But he didn't help himself, not doing things that I asked.

"When asked to water the pitch, it was not done and, after games, he did not tend to divots. I'm no groundsman, but wherever I've been in my career, divots have been taken care of."