HIGHWORTH Town manager Ross Adams stated his players could have no complaints over exiting the FA Cup to Wessex Premier Division side, Shaftesbury in a replay on Tuesday night.

Following a 1-1 draw at the Save on Tyres Stadium on Saturday, the Worthians went down 4-2 at the Cockrams in the first qualifying round replay.

Despite taking the lead through Liam Haines’ header, Highworth conceded almost instantly as Ash Pope slotted home following a mistake in midfield.

The hosts dominated the first half and took the lead for the first time in the tie when Pope’s long-range effort was heavily deflected over Worthians goalkeeper, Connor Thompson.

Rhys Wells equalised for Adams’ side shortly after the break, but Asa Phillips pushed Shaftesbury back in front in the 58th minute.

A red card for a stamp from Dan Comer made Highworth’s job even harder before the Dorset side finished the tie off late on through Cameron Beard.

Reacting to a hugely disappointing week for Highworth, boss Adams said: “I told the players after both games this week, I’ve been disappointed with the way we’ve played in both.

“The most disappointing thing about it is, we can’t really have any complaints that we’ve gone out, to be perfectly honest.

“The performances in the last two games haven’t been up to the standard that the players have set themselves so far this season, so that’s the most frustrating thing. Ultimately, it’s come back to haunt us.”

Aside from the actual result, Adams revealed the aspect of the defeat that frustrated him the most was the drop off in performance level from the opening weeks.

The Worthians boss said his team must start to find a level they can perform at every week so they can stabilise before ultimately kicking on.

Adams said: “The coaches and I have spoken to the players a few times since we’ve come in about improving the consistency of their performances.

“We’re a very inconsistent side at the moment – one week we’re very good and the next we’re not so great.

“It’s something we need to work on as a team so we can find a level of consistency where we know what sort of performance we’re going to get every week.

“At the moment, we turn up against the big sides, but those aren’t the games that really matter. It’s about turning up in games against those teams around you in the league.”