HIGHWORTH Town boss John Fisher thought his side beat themselves as two mistakes cost them a place in the final of Bluefin Challenge Cup.
Playing Hellenic Premier title chasers and form side Ardley United, Highworth produced one of their best recent dispays as they went down 2-1 in Oxfordshire.
The first half had seen Fisher’s side hold the hosts to a blank scoresheet but looking to push on in the second half the Worthians conceded two goals in a minute which ultimately proved fatal to their cup hopes.
The first came from Callum Convey’s tame looping header from the edge of the box which inexplicably evaded keeper Kurtis Sharkey. A minute later Ardley doubled their advantage, Highworth coughing up the ball cheaply in their own half leaving Jon Gardner through on Sharkey to score.
TJ Bohane’s late penalty gave Highworth hope but they could not create the clear chance they needed to force extra-time.
“I couldn’t fault our boys at all, it was as good as we’ve defended all season,” Fisher told the Adver.
“At half-time we said keep going, two minutes into the second half, two mistakes and they’ve gone 2-0 up. I’ve said it a lot, sides don’t usually beat us we beat ourselves.
“They hit the ball forward more to feet in second half, scored two goals in minute, I felt sorry the defence as they did really well.
“With about five to go Bradley Clark has gone in the box, gone past the lad and he took him out. TJ put it away, you’d put your money on TJ on penalties that’s for sure. It made for a frantic five minutes, but there were no clear cut chances.”
Asked how his players reacted after the game Fisher said: “They were annoyed as they knew two mistakes has cost us. You get beat sometimes but we beat ourselves from two bad mistakes, such is life, it’s done and dusted now.”
Tonight, Highworth travel to Reading Town for their final match of the campaign.