Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire felt some of his players fell short of their best in their 3-0 defeat by Tranmere Rovers in the first round of the FA Cup.
The Iron’s dreams of causing a Cup upset were denied by goals from Joe Thompson, Cole Stockton and Max Power and Devonshire felt it was the Football League side’s more clinical finishing that proved the difference.
He said: “As a manager of a football club, you don’t like getting beaten, so I look at things we maybe should have done better.
“There were six or seven who were at the top of their form and three or four who weren’t and I thought that was the difference.
“We needed to score early to give us something to hold on to, but we didn’t and we now have to move on and look forward to Grimsby.
“At the end of the day, their finishing was just better than ours.”
Braintree’s cause wasn’t helped by injuries to influential players at key stages of the game and Devonshire is bracing himself to losing a couple for upcoming Blue Square Bet Premier games.
He added: “I don’t think you can look at it and say Tranmere’s players were that much better than our players, but they did a professional job.
“And when three of your best players (Dean Wells, James Mulley and Sean Marks) get injured you could see how it disrupted us.
“Dean’s shoulder is fine.
“It wasn’t a problem with the dislocation, but it was his neck that got whacked and he couldn’t breathe.
“He’ll be fine, but Sean Marks had a bad gash on top of his head and needed stitches so I think he’ll be struggling for Saturday and James had a really bad whack on the top of his thigh.
“He’ll be out for two or three weeks.
“But we go on and we will have a real go at Grimsby on Saturday.
“They are flying, but then all the games are tough in the league we are in.”
Devonshire also had praise for the Iron’s supporters who made up the majority of the 1,503 crowd.
He said: “It was a great crowd on the night, the TV cameras were there and the boys didn’t let themselves down.
“That was all I wanted.
“The crowd were fantastic and hopefully we’ll be able to give them more nights like this.
“It would be nice to see them come back for the Wrexham game next Tuesday.”