Connor Oliver couldn’t hide his disappointment following FC Halifax Town’s exit from the FA Cup.
The Shayman crashed out of the competition after losing 3-1 to Tranmere Rovers at the MBi Shay Stadium, with goals for the visitors coming from Connor Jennings, James Norwood, and Halifax born Liam Ridehalgh.
The latter marked his return to his home town by scoring a superb free kick.
A Steve McNulty own goal ruled out the visitor’s opener shortly after Adam Morgan failed to equalise from the spot, but the home fan’s joy was short lived thanks to a professional performance from Micky Mellon’s men.
For Oliver, the day didn’t go his side’s way from start to finish.
‘I think from the start we were a bit tentative,’ he said.
‘We weren’t fully at it, it took us 15 minutes to get into the game which we can’t afford to do.
‘End of the day we are out of the cup so it’s not a good day.
‘It’s disappointing but now that’s gone we need to focus on the positives and concentrate on the league.’
The midfielder was frank and held no punches as he reflected upon the display he and his team mates had just shown. He felt the work rate shown by all could have been improved upon.
‘You get those days but some of it was preventable,’ the 23-year-old admitted.
‘No one is the type to throw in the towel but today they were the better team, we were nowhere near our best.
‘I don’t think [Tranmere] were anything special, we have come up against better teams.
‘If we were at the top of our game I think we would have challenged them all the way, if not won it.
‘We can afford to carry people if they are good on the ball but work rate, everyone has to be at it.’
Billy Heath’s men were without their main goal threats in Tom Denton and Matt Kosylo, meaning the team had to find a new outlet of attack.
Scott McManus on the left-hand side saw a lot of the ball in the few minutes he was on the pitch, taking part in many promising advances, before having to come off himself due to injury, and with him, the quality of attacks dropped.
Being without three of the team’s main stars however, cannot be used as an excuse according to Oliver.
‘Macca was doing well when he was on but we’ve got a squad where everyone can step up to the plate,’ the former North Ferriby United man explained.
‘Denton is obviously going to be a miss, he’s a big part of our team.
‘At the end of the day we can’t [the absences] as an excuse.
“We have a big squad, we’ve got big personalities, big players who can step into their shoes.’
Read more posts by Ashley Brewer