Braintree Town manager Hakan Hayrettin felt his team's level of consistency suffered as he was forced to make changes for their FA Trophy first round tie at Salisbury.

The Iron have been left with a week and a half to lick their wounds and consider the next stage of their Vanarama National League survival bid after bowing out of the competition.

The Iron would have been in second round action at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday had they beaten Southern League premier division south side Salisbury.

Despite a long-range strike from a free-kick by Luke Allen, though, Braintree lost 2-1 against a side sat two tiers below them in the non-league football pyramid as they crashed out at the first hurdle.

The Iron, who are still bottom of the National League table following their 0-0 draw at FC Halifax Town last weekend, had been hoping for some much-needed cheer in the rearranged first-round tie in Wiltshire.

However, Hayrettin felt the changes he had to make to his side meant they were unable to match the levels they did in that previous league outing.

He said: "I had to make changes because I didn't have players available who I would have liked to play.

"It meant we weren't able to play our strongest team.

"Did Salisbury deserve to win?

"Yes I think they probably did on the face of it, but we were hampered by not having players available. "These things happen in cup games when you make changes.

"Look at Sheffield United and Barnet in the FA Cup - Sheffield United made changes and they paid the price.

"We were in a similar position.

"We had played ever so well at Halifax in the league on Saturday where we drew 0-0, but the problem we are having with this group of players is getting consistency from them.

"I'm trying so hard to get them to a consistent level and the game at Salisbury proved that as it dipped when we had to make changes.

"But I am honest and I don't lie.

"We didn't deserve to win as we didn't take the chances we made and they took two of theirs."

The Iron are now next due to be in action as they return to National League action with a home game against Barnet on January 19 and Hayrettin is confident that his players won't dwell on the FA Trophy exit.

He added: "I'm not worrying about how this will affect the group at all as the next game will see a lot of changes made.

"I have players who will come back in there - probably four or five."