Farnborough crashed out of the FA Cup with a 5-2 defeat away at Eastbourne Borough
Spencer Day took his share of the blame as Jekyll and Hyde Farnborough were hung out to dry on the Sussex coast on Tuesday (October 8).
The Boro boss opted for an attacking 4-3-3 formation which left his team horribly exposed as Eastbourne completed a league and cup double with a second victory between the sides inside seven days.
But Day insists it wasn’t just his tactics that contributed to their heaviest defeat of the season – the referee and a number of his players also took the rap in what was a night to forget at Priory Lane.
A hat-trick from Chris Shephard and goals from Darren Lok and Elliot Levy sunk shell-shocked Boro, for whom late strikes from Adam Doyle and new signing Lloyd Macklin were scant consolation.
And Day admits that lessons have been learned in how to batten down the hatches and ensure his side can stand up to the demands of playing away from home.
“It was one of those nights, but I’ll hold my hands up too,” admitted the Boro boss, who raised eyebrows by releasing midfield pair Merrick James-Lewis and Tyrone Berry in the week.
“We did not play the way that a team at this level should when away from home, we were far too open.
“The players themselves like to play that way and it does help to have your best players in your starting eleven. But certain players did not play to the gameplan or work hard enough to make it stick and it will not happen again.
“We weren’t good enough in the first half and we’ve committed absolute suicide just before half-time to go 2-0 down at the break.
“Then the mountain we have to climb has turned into Everest by the referee [Stuart Butler] for their third and fourth goals, which were just laughable.
“We battered them after that, playing some fantastic football and scored two good goals. But it’s no good doing that at 4-0 down.”
Perhaps Day can take a tip or two from Boro's next opponents, Hayes & Yeading, who arrive at Paddy Power Park on Saturday with the best away record in the league, while Boro boast a perfect three wins from three on home soil without conceding a goal.
The good news for the Boro boss is that Elvis Hammond made a welcome return from injury with a lively 33-minute substitute cameo on Tuesday night, while new boy Macklin, the Camberley-born former Torquay and Swindon winger, will be angling for his first start.
Similarly, Phil Page looked lively in his first game back with the club with a rather fortunate late clincher in the 2-0 victory over Whitehawk on Saturday.
And he could now step in for Reece Connolly, who netted a quite brilliant opener at the weekend but is currently in talks with three or four clubs about going out on loan.
BORO: Scriven; Huggins, Treacher, Donnelly, Inns (Hammond 57), Doyle, Bennett (Jones 75), Laidler, Connolly, Tarpey, Page (Macklin 65). Subs: Bosch, Hope.