JOINT manager John Pike admitted that Braintree Town Reserves were lacking key qualities as they fell to an 8-0 defeat in their Thurlow Nunn League division one south trip to Brightlingsea Regent Reserves.

The Regent marksmen proved far more lethal on the day, with Charlie Gilbert and Charlie Lindoe both recording hat-tricks on a day that the Young Irons would rather forget.

Pike said that was a big factor in the hosts' success, but was also quick to point out that his own players lacked qualities they need if they want to see success at this level.

He said: “The difference was that Brightlingsea were more ruthless in front of goal.

“We worked hard and created chances, but if you don’t put them away then you pay for it.

“It was really disappointing.

“We changed formation in the second half with three players coming on directly after half-time, so we sacrificed some players unfortunately to try to get back in the game.

“The intensity was better but there were still holes left and they used them.

“People say Brightlingsea are a young side but they were very physical, worked hard for each other and there was good leadership.

“Those were qualities that we were lacking on the day.

“But these are the types of results you sometimes see from young sides.

“In the last four games, we had had a couple of draws or been beaten by only a single goal; in set pieces, we hadn’t conceded any, but we let in two against Brightlingsea.

“Brightlingsea are a good side, but they were much better than us on the day and I just want to apologise to the Braintree fans who travelled to watch us.

“That wasn’t a great result for them to come to."

The result was a setback for Pike and his fellow joint manager Dave Childs as they look to progress the reserves team back up the Thurlow Nunn League division one south table again.

The pair only took the helm at the end of October and after conceding goals 18 in their first four games under Pike and Childs, they had managed to get things on an even keel before the big defeat at Regent.

Pike added: “When we first came in, we didn’t really know the lads and we inherited a big squad so it’s taken us a while to get to know who they are and what they are capable of.

“It meant we did conceded quite a few goals at times, but we lost 1-0 to White Ensign and then had a good run when we looked tight, played some good football and had a good defensive shape.

“People may dismiss this level as being only step six but it’s a good opportunity for everyone and there are good players there.

“But our players have to respond from this result now.

“They have to understand that if you don’t keep the intensity going over 90 minutes then teams will punish you and we got punished at Brightlingsea.

“But I believe every team in this division is beatable.

“It’s irrelevant who it is against; it’s about you having consistency and having strong personalities."

Braintree will hope to bounce back positively when they head to Newbury Forest on Saturday.