NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Boss Seb Hayes upbeat following FA Trophy defeat for Wisbech Town

Wisbech Town boss Seb Hayes (left) with assistant manager Kev Ward. Picture: IAN CARTER

Wisbech Town boss Seb Hayes (left) with assistant manager Kev Ward. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Town boss Seb Hayes issued praise to his side in the wake of their FA Trophy exit.

The Fenmen bowed out in the preliminary round last Saturday when being beaten 1-0 at fellow Northern Premier League South East Division side Kidsgrove.

But Hayes was encouraged by the performance of his players on a day when they were undone by a goal late in the first half.

"We were always in the game and created a host of chances right up until the 90th minute," said Hayes.

"On another day we get the roll of the dice, get a goal and earn the replay that we deserved.

"Harsh words were said after the county cup defeat at March last Tuesday and they were repeated again in the team-talk at Kidsgrove.

"The players also took responsibility by having their own meeting before the game and responded with the sort of performance we know they are capable of producing.

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"I'm gutted we lost, but not at all disappointed with what I saw from my team. If we perform to that level in every game, you'll never hear or read me moaning again!"

The Fenmen now have a crucial home clash in the league this Saturday. They entertain a Glossop North End side, who currently sit one point and one place above them, at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium, 3pm.

Hayes is determined to see his players put on a show in front of their own fans as they bid to climb the standings - and he is also attempting to draft in new blood to aid that process.

He added: "We've got to give our fans something to applaud by playing well and winning. If we perform like we did in the FA Trophy there is no doubt in my mind we will get the three points.

"We always knew we would be a work in progress after so many changes in the summer and people won't see the best of us until the second half of the season.

"We're working our backsides off to try to boost the squad but it is very difficult to make signings.

"Gary Setchell went through it last season when trying to bring players in and it's the same for me this season. We cannot compete with what other teams can offer at this level and then there is the additional travelling that comes with playing for Wisbech.

"But we're leaving no stone unturned as we try to get the right players at the right price."

Midfielder Jonny Kaye returned from injury at Kidsgrove but had to be taken off and will now miss the game against Glossop. Defender Aiden Bradshaw and midfielder Ollie Gale are both long-term absentees while Beckham Kennelly has been sent to Wisbech St Mary as he steps up his recovery from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Wisbech handed a debut to teenage defender Jordan Armsden at Kidsgrove after he arrived on loan from Mansfield Town, but he has since been recalled by the League Two club.