Some of Newport Pagnell Town’s players will regret letting the occasion get the better of them, said manager Darren Lynch after were knocked out of the FA Vase quarter finals 6-1 by South Shields.
In front of 3,161 fans - more than watched MK Dons take on Bury at Gigg Lane in League 1 on Valentine’s Day - the Swans crumbled, finding themselves 4-0 by the 20 minute mark.
READ MORE: Newport Pagnell's FA Vase dream ends with South Shields thrashing
Two second half goals saw them 6-0 down before Elliot Sandy gave the travelling Swans something to cheer.
Their Vase campaign had been history in the making for Newport, going two rounds further than they had been before, but Lynch felt the weight of the occasion got to some of his players.
“A few of them might look back and regret it,” said the manager. “I have to be honest - we were beaten by a very good team. We would have to have been at our best and needed them to have an off day, but that’s no excuse.
“I was really disappointed by the result. I’m not a very good loser, so I haven’t really had time to reflect on the run. Maybe I will at the end of the season, but at the moment, I’m not happy.”
The glamour of the cup run has hit Newport’s league form too, seeing them drop to 11th in the UCL Premier Division - something Lynch wants to put right quickly.
He added: “We need to put that right. You could see some of the players wanted to avoid injuries, to make sure they’d be fit for the Vase.
“It was a distraction, but now we need to get our season back on track.”