WOOTTON Bassett boss Dave Turner admitted some of his players had their minds elsewhere as they were defeated 3-1 at Clanfield yesterday.
The Rylands Way side face Blue Square South side Dorchester in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday, and Turner said a few of his squad had been ‘careful’ in the weekend loss.
It was the first defeat Bassett had suffered in Division One West in 2012/13, with Lee Bowen’s effort coming in vain as Jamie Butt and Chris Blakeley were both among the goals for the hosts.
Turner said: “I think half the team had one eye on next week, it was not a normal performance from us in the first half.
“I’m sure everyone went in a bit carefully and although they were competitive, one or two weren’t as competitive as they normally are. At half time it could have been 4-2 to them on chances
“For 25 minutes of the second half we were camped in their half, but they hit us on the break and scored an absolute worldie.
“I was speaking to Tim North, the old Carterton manager, and he told me the last time the player tried that they never found the ball, but I have to give the lad (Blakeley) credit, it was a great
“We were pressing and pressing after that and that allowed them to pick us off and get a second, and the third was the same, but we actually played really well in the second half.
“It’s football, it’s what happens, I’ve been around long enough to know I shouldn’t get carried away about it.
“In some ways, as soon as we can get the cup out of the way, the better. These games only come along every five or 10 years for clubs like us, so I can understand the players being careful.
“Now we can focus on next weekend and it will be great because most of them have never been involved in a game of that magnitude.”
Elsewhere, Shrivenham ’s involvement in the FA Vase came crashing down in spectacular style as they were hammered 4-0 at the Rec by Cheltenham.
Michael McNally’s side were up against it from the off and never recovered, with the Saracens rearguard holding firm throughout.
Meanwhile, Fairford’s hopes of progression are still alive after they shared a 3-3 draw with Hook Norton, meaning a replay will take place.