Blyth Spartans bowed out of the FA Trophy on Saturday.
Damen Mullen said his side simply weren’t good enough. Never emerged from the dressing room, never got going. Didn’t play, didn’t perform.
“We were poor,” added the midfielder.
So while the Croft Park club continue to prosper in Evo-Stik Premier, their Trophy run is over at the hurdle of the second qualifying round.
That they succumbed at the hands of Evo-Stik North side Ramsbottom United should not constitute complete demoralisation.
The Rams beat Blyth’s league rivals Worksop Town in the last round, and Darlington 1883, comprehensively so, in their own league. In this one, they were indebted to captain Daniel Warrender’s winner. But, in truth, an under-par Spartans assisted their cause.
The hosts hardly ever got going and on 20 minutes were fortunate to see Phil Dean’s 25-yard free-kick dip just over Michal Misiewicz’s goal. Just before half-time, Blyth did muster chances via Sonny Andrews and Matthew Wade, to no avail, and rode their luck moments later when Dean again went close from a set-piece.
Under grey skies, the deadlock was finally broken three minutes after the interval when Warrender drove low, off a post and past Misiewicz from 30 yards.
Dean was then dismissed for a foul, followed by equally foul and abusive language directed towards referee Thomas Rogers. But despite going close through Robbie Dale, substitute Arran Wearmouth and Ian Watson, Spartans were unable to take advantage of the extra man.
And Mullen said: “Obviously, we were on a high from the Frickley (Athletic) win on Tuesday and we were looking forward to a big game today.
“For whatever reason we just never got going, we never came out of the dressing room and we were poor.
“I can’t say why that happened, we just didn’t play our football.
“I was poor and all over the pitch we just didn’t perform.
“They were arguably the underdogs here today but they were excellent.
“They played some good stuff and were committed, they would have been a handful for any team in our league but we just weren’t good enough today.”
Blyth return to league action at home to Droylsden tomorrow.