SWINDON Town manager David Flitcroft felt his side had no one to blame but themselves after their FA Cup quest was ended in a heavy 5-2 defeat at Stevenage in the second round today.

Slack defending saw Stevenage go 2-0 up inside the opening 25 minutes at the Lamex Stadium courtesy of goals from Alex Samuel and Matt Godden and although Town drew level through Amine Linganzi’s header and Matt Taylor’s strike direct from a corner, the visitors could not capitalise.

Tom Pett hit Swindon with a sucker-punch in stoppage time at the end of the first half before substitute Danny Newton made the most of more sloppy Town play to bag a brace after the restart.

“I think the third goal just before half-time is a really important one. If we go in at half-time at 2-2 having gained that momentum, it could look a different outcome,” said Flitcroft.

“The fourth goal takes the absolute stuffing out of the players but we have conceded sloppy goals and you get what you deserve when you concede the type of goals we conceded.

“It is unlike us, certainly away from home, to concede that many goals but we had a warning sign at Grimsby with the goals we conceded there – really poor goals.

“I spoke to the players about what he FA Cup meant to us as a club and the fans, who I must apologise to for the goals we have conceded.

“I can accept it from younger players at times if they make mistakes but when it is experienced players and players I trusted after the Grimsby game, it’s difficult.

“Experience usually gives you that reset button when you say ‘that is not going to happen for X amount of games’ but it is happened a week later.

“I am bitterly disappointed in the manner we have conceded the goals. All the goals have gone in too easy.”

After fighting back from 2-0 down to draw level, Flitcroft felt that Swindon could have gone on to a positive result had they been able to sustain their revival.

As it was, the Town chief conceded his side got exactly what they deserved after letting their standards drop once again.

“We felt momentum had swung back to us at 2-2 but you have got 30 seconds to see out that next phase and we didn’t,” said Flitcroft.

“We had worked on Pett coming in field and Ben Purkiss tracking him but the time he didn’t, he crashes it in and it’s 3-2.

“Whether that put a mental fatigue in the players I don’t know but I said to them at half-time ‘they had been vulnerable from set-pieces and were vulnerable anytime we attacked them with quality’.

“The next goal would cause the biggest impression on the game and they scored it by our sloppy play.

“I don’t think they really worked a goal well, it was more our sloppy play. We have given away bad errors and we have not defended our box with any of the authority that I wanted.”