PAUL Braithwaite was left to rue enforced substitutions early in the second half as his Fairford side bowed out of the Hellenic League Supplementary Cup at the second-round stage.
The Cinder Lane outfit were beaten 3-2 after extra time by Oxford City Nomads with Braithwaite disappointed that he could not save his men on the bench for later in proceedings.
Naoki Montoya and Adam Smith were both taken off due to tiredness while Nathan Hawkins sustained an ankle injury that meant he could not continue.
Fairford led 2-1 in extra-time on a heavy pitch battered by the elements, but two goals saw the Nomads through.
Braithwaite said: “We had to make three early substitutions which didn't help us as we hoped to keep one or two for the later stages of the game.
“They were able to bring on fresh legs in extra time and it did make a difference. We weren't quite there and bodies were tired at that point.
“When you have a game that has to be settled on the day I think most managers have in the back of their minds to keep something back so they can make change in extra-time.
“They had fresh legs to bring on and the lads they brought on had a bit of quality.”
Dan Bailey initially gave Fairford the advantage in the first half but Mark Janes sent the match to extra time with around 15 minutes left.
Alex Rudd looked to have landed the telling blow but two further efforts saw Nomads to victory.
Braithwaite continued: “Conditions were unreal and because we went to extra-time you can imagine what the pitch was like.
“The lads did well against an Oxford side who are the best team we've played this year. We won't play anyone better than them and I'm proud of the lads.
“I couldn't have asked any more as they worked their socks off all over the pitch and showed they had the quality to compete.
“I think we deserved penalties as a minimum if I'm honest.”
Elsewhere in the Supplementary Cup on Saturday, New College's game at Carterton succumbed to the elements while in Hellenic League Division One West, Malmesbury's away game at Clanfield was called off.
Wootton Bassett had no fixture scheduled.