Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire was quick to give all the credit to Concord Rangers for their Essex Senior Cup final triumph against his side.
Having faced a punishing schedule in the last two months of the season and then the disappointment of just missing out on the Skrill Premier play-off positions on the final day of the season, Devonshire said before the game that he would have to pick his players up for one last outing.
But while he admitted that they weren’t at their best in losing 2-1 to Rangers in the final at Dagenham and Redbridge, he said Concord deserved the plaudits for what they had done rather than putting the focus on his own team’s under-par display.
He said: “You can say that we didn’t play well and we were tired and all that, but to be fair, Concord were the better side.
“We had a few chances early on and hit the post, but they were just better than us on the night.
“There was a bit of flatness on our part and we had a few knocks like Dean Wells being on the bench with a thigh strain, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse.
“I’m disappointed for our fans who came along, but you have to give Concord credit where it’s due.
“It would be easy for me to say it was about us and where we fell short, but it was a hard-fought game and they were better in it.”
Devonshire said he is currently looking at his squad options ahead of the summer and was set to have a meeting with his players tonight to discuss plans for their pre-season campaign and beyond.
One pre-season game is already agreed, with Devonshire’s former club, West Ham, due to vist the Amlin Stadium on July 19.