Weston boss Bartlett has few complaints at FA Cup exit

Weston boss Scott Bartlett (pic Mark Atherton)

Weston boss Scott Bartlett (pic Mark Atherton) - Credit: Archant

Weston boss Scott Bartlett had few complaints following their FA Cup exit at Eastleigh on Saturday.

The Seagulls suffered a 3-1 defeat at the National League club, after conceding three goals in 13 second-half minutes before Chris Knowles replied.

And Bartlett said: “I think the best team won the game on the day, but there’s no disgrace in that.

“I was pleased with lots of elements of our play and attitude and our ethic and our fight, we had a lot of fight and spirit and for an hour it was all going to plan.

“As ever in football, goals change it. I can’t be displeased with the boys at all, they will be a little bit down, but we will bounce back on Tuesday hopefully, that’s a game we will look forward to.

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“In general play the game went exactly as we’d prepared for, exactly as we thought, but when you concede the first goal it makes it difficult and you have to say then they were ruthless for six or seven minutes to score their other two goals, which were fantastic finishes.

“But again, we got a foothold back in the game, it became more open which suited us, when we were chasing we had a couple of really good chances near the end and if one of those goes in you never know.

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“But honest appraisal of the game is the best team won but there’s no disgrace in that.”

Eastleigh broke the deadlock from the penalty spot on the hour when Ryan Jones fouled Sam Smart and Dan Smith fired home from 12 yards.

Ben House doubled the lead on 70 minutes with Tom Bearwith making it 3-0 soon after and Bartlett added: “The referee got the right decision. It was definitely a penalty, we got a little bit stretched, they created an overload down the side. It was a little bit naive by Ryan but a great lesson for him, he just dived into win a ball he is never going to win.

“It gives them an opportunity to score from 12 yards and puts us on the back foot. What they did after that, I have to say they were brilliant for five-10 minutes, they killed the game off which is something we can learn from because we haven’t done that enough in our games.

“When you set up how we did, to concede a penalty is tough to take, but that’s football, that can happen. That will be the last time it happens for Ryan I’m sure, he’s a quick learner. We dust ourselves down and go again.”

Bartlett made two changes to his starting line-up at Eastleigh, bringing in Jones and Knowles for Lloyd Humphries and Nick McCootie, and Bartlett revealed he has plenty of options for Tuesday’s trip to Southern League rivals Salisbury City.

He said: “We wanted to change our shape slightly to counter how Eastleigh were going to play and that worked up to a point, definitely.

“Nick has had a bit of a tight groin so it was a sensible decision, looking ahead to Tuesday and the rest of the season. The last thing we want is for Nick or any of the players to play 75 per cent because that takes a little bit away from their performance but we don’t want injuries, we had too many last season and at the start of this season.

“With the midfield players, we’ve got some fantastic boys, some brilliant boys in there. Knowlesy acts like a third centre-half for us at times, he’s a threat from set plays and I knew we needed him against a big powerful side.

“It (Salisbury) is a brilliant game. When you don’t get the result you want, you want the next game as quickly as you possiby can.

“Because we were sensible with Nick, we’ve got everyone fit and ready for Tuesday. We’ll have a good look at Salisbury and prepare ourselves for that test.”

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