Daventry Town boss Darran Foster felt the strain of playing five games in the space of nine days finally caught up with his players in Wednesday night’s 4-1 defeat at Egham.
The defeat means that Town’s automatic promotion fate is now out of their hands, as with one match remaining this season they are third in the Southern League Division One Central table.
To win the league, Daventry are now going to have to beat Chalfont St Peter at Communications Park on Saturday, and hope that leaders Dunstable and second-placed Rugby both drop points in their final fixtures.
The Egham defeat came hot on the heels of matches against Potters Bar, AFC Hayes, Royston and Kettering Town, and proved a test too far.
It was a disappointing night for Foster, but he felt Egham’s pacy attack up against his battle-weary team was a recipe for disaster.
Also, with the score at at 1-1 at half-time, the beginning of the second period was delayed for 25 minutes due to one of the assistant referees being taken ill, and again Foster didn’t feel that helped his team.
“It is beyond me what went on in the second half, as for the first 30 minutes we were superb,” said the Daventry Town boss.
“Of course the delay to the second half did not help, but Egham were in the same situation, so we have no excuses.
“The biggest problem we had was their raw pace.
“Time and time again they punished us with balls in behind, and it just completely knocked the stuffing out of a lot of tired and weary legs.”
Foster also bemoaned the failure of the referee to award a free-kick for a foul on Richard Morris for Egham’s first goal - and his team’s loss of discipline thereafter which ultimately led to striker Scott Cross being red carded for two booking in as many minutes late on.
“I am a great believer that decisions must go for you in such important games, and again on Wednesday they did not,” said Foster.
“Richard Morris had the ball in both hands for their first goal, but was then bundled over, which the referee did not give.
“Not only was it a foul, but at an important period of the game.
“We then got involved with the officials and lost all of our discipline which was my biggest disappointment.
“All in all it was a very bad night, but one we must forget very quickly.”
Quotes courtesy of JIM DAVIS