Lower Breck manager Gary Moore has expressed his frustration after defeats to Bury AFC and AFC Liverpool.
In both matches, the Breck took the lead but a red card in their trip to Greater Manchester turned the clash upside down and the hosts capitalised.
Their Liverpool Senior Cup exit was more bruising after racing into a three-goal lead before the hosts once again fought back winning it late on.
“I thought it was evenly matched, we both had two or three chances in the first-half, they were coming at us, as you’d expect from a good attacking side, but ultimately, the red card is criminal really,” the Lower Breck boss explained to Off The Park.
“It’s one of those things, you’re 40 minutes into a match and someones through one-on-one with your goalkeeper, you’ve got to put faith in your goalkeeper – especially Theo, he’s one of the best about so it’s a 50/50 draw, Spell’s made the decision to take him out but ultimately, it’s killed us.
“We done well to see the next 15 minutes out but once again, it’s okay saying we had 10 men but the goals were poor from our point of view, losing a man from a corner the next is a poor-headed clearance, the third there’s two men waiting on the end of it.
“I’ve got to give the lads credit, 50 minutes on a pitch like that, heavy because it was soft, 10 men against a very good attacking side. The front four are as dangerous as they come, we couldn’t held out, ultimately a tough day.”
Ricky Ager, Jawad Jebrin and Connor McCarthy were on all target in Wednesday’s Senior Cup clash against the Non-League Reds. The Breck had won one and drew in their other meetings with Matt Potter’s side.
He continued: “I’ve touched on it with one comment, you can call it a game of two halves but in a game of football, you shouldn’t be getting beat.
“But it’s happened so many times, I sat in the dressing room at half-time and them lads thought the game was won, you try and speak to people and that’s the major thing about it.
“AFC don’t give up, they never give up, you can beating them one, two, three-nil, that’s not how they set up and we shouldn’t be going out there thinking the game is won at 3-0, really shouldn’t.
“We didn’t come out, lack of hunger really, you stopped doing the things you done in the first-half, I can pick on the one to 11 really.
“First 10 minutes of the game wasn’t the greatest, both teams looked like they was going to cancel each other out but they started making a lot of mistakes and we pounced all over them. We scored three quick fire goals and looked like we could’ve got a fourth or fifth.
“From the front, they stopped doing their jobs, it’s something we’ve highlighted, we’ve only got lads who can play 45 minutes at the minute and it happened again, we had two or three just stop doing what they needed to do – it doesn’t help.
“They’re not doing the basics, when you’re 3-0 up, you just need to do the basics, frustrate the opposition. The goals have come in two waves, first two in two minutes and the second two but we could see it coming.”
Their exit now means their only realistic chance of silverware is the Macron Cup – where they face Congleton Town away – after being knocked out of the FA Vase and some 19 points off the pace in the North West Counties Premier Division.
Moore felt his side could have had a run in the Senior Cup but with their elimination believes it’s an opportunity missed.
“You’re not winning the league, you’re not getting promoted, you’re in two cups – the Senior and the Macron – the Senior is only a couple of rounds but it’s bragging rights, it’s another cup and for all the ones we’ve won in the city, it’s the one we want because the only one we haven’t had,” he said.
“You want to have a good go and you tell the lads what to expect but ultimately, it’s the lads who lost game of football, they’re the ones who’ve got to answer to it.
“I’ve given them plaudits in recent weeks but we’ve conceded seven in two games. I was fuming on Saturday, it was a tough day but the manner of goals that frustrated me and you can imagine how I’m feeling after that second-half, capitulation is the word.
“It’s not a knee jerk but we know what we need, I can give a million excuses, we’re certainly missing Harry Curtis and we had young players on the bench but AFC are a young side, they’ve had to bring different players in – there’s a couple of sides the same, it’s not ideal but it’s how we roll with it. But not ideal at all, not a good second-half showing.”