Manager Kevin Wilson laid into his Ilkeston FC players on Tuesday night as the Robins’ long unbeaten run came to an end.
The 2-1 loss at Gresley FC in the Derbyshire Senior Cup final was the first defeat in 17 games for Ilkeston and also their first ever in that competition.
And Wilson was adamant the right team won.
He said: “We got what we deserved, which was absolutely nothing.
“Some of the recent games have seen us papering over the cracks as there have been a few disappointing performances and at Gresley we’ve simply not got going at all which is unacceptable.
“Yes, some might say we haven’t played for a fortnight and were bound to be a bit rusty but it’s not an excuse I’m willing to hide behind.
“Credit has to go to Gresley who made it hard, but although the penalty decision was a bit soft right at the end we were poor and only have ourselves to blame.
“We gave a stupid goal away in only the second minute which gave us a problem straight away, even though we were soon level.
“It’s disappointing because it is a very important competition for us given we’ve won it twice in the last two years and to be knocked out in that manner isn’t good enough.”
Several new faces have arrived at the New Manor Ground in recent weeks including midfielders Wilfried Gnahore and Edouard Shoenecker and strikers Eddy Samba, Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson and Jake Wright, the latter having joined on ‘work experience’ terms from Sheffield United after being a regular scorer on loan at Hallam FC.
But Wilson thinks it’s the departures from the New Manor Ground that have had the bigger impact and more signings may be required based on recent displays.
He said: “I may have no choice but to bring new faces in. The back three weren’t good enough at Gresley, the front players werent good enough either, and I’ll be expecting much better in upcoming games.
“I know we went unbeaten for a long time despite losing the likes of Che Adams, Kane Richards and Ash Hunter, but we haven’t really replaced those players however hard that may be, which is why I feel we’ve been papering over cracks as we haven’t been producing the quality I want to see, but still getting results.”
Frickley Athletic are the next opponents at the New Manor Ground this Saturday before Spalding United arrive on Tuesday night for a Doodson Sport Cup quarter-final clash.
Saturday’s opponents Frickley, whom Ilkeston are yet to face this campaign, lie 16th in the league but have won just twice on the road this season, whilst Spalding are sixth in Division One South.
Wilson added: “The players have to stand up and be counted now. Every game is crucial and we won’t win any if we play like we did on Tuesday.”
The Ashton United home game, postponed last weekend, will now take place on Monday, February 23 with a 7.45pm kick-off.