GJ SINGH is urging his Barnt Green Spartak players to respond after they bowed out of the first qualifying round of the FA Vase for the fourth consecutive year.
Cadbury Athletic were the visitors to The Coppice Ground on Friday night and came up against a Spartak side in high spirits following a good start to their Midland League Division Two campaign.
Despite going into the break level, a strike from Stuart Crooke two minutes after the restart was enough to send Athletic into the next round where they will meet Midland League Premier Division outfit Stourport Swifts on Saturday, September 24.
Following the defeat, Singh praised his goalkeeper and four defenders for a creditable performance but slammed the rest of his outfield players for doing “next to nothing”.
And he has urged his players to respond in style as they face two games in the space of five days.
Spartak entertain mid-table Feckenham on Saturday before playing host to Herefordshire FA County Saturday Premier side Tenbury United in the opening round of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup on Wednesday night (7.45pm KO).
Singh said: “I was more disappointed with the performance on Friday night rather than the result.
“Cadbury are a decent side and they deserved to win but only our goalkeeper and four defenders came out of that game with any credit.
“Our attacking players did next to nothing on Friday and it’s now the fourth year in a row we’ve been knocked out of the first qualifying round.
“We need to respond well now against Feckenham – a side which I don’t have a great track record against over the last ten to 15 years.
“We responded with a win at Continental Star after losing at Smithswood Firs so I’ll be wanting more of the same.”
Ryan Frogatt and Jacob Snape are missing for the clash against Feckenham as they’re both on holiday but Singh is boosted by the returns of Earl Jordan, Marcus Malcolm and Nathaniel Hare.
“Feckenham have scored a lot of goals so far but are shipping a few in too so if they leave some gaps hopefully we can capitalise on that,” Singh added.
“Then the Smedley Crooke game will let me give a few players who have not had much football a chance to start.
“I’ve won the competition before and it would be nice to win it again.”