Oakham United are beaten by Warboys Town in the Peterborough League Cup
A rare home defeat dashed Oakham United's hopes of Peterborough League Cup glory on Saturday.
The Rutland side hadn't lost at Lands' End Meadow since the end of September but were overpowered by Division One champions Warboys Town in Saturday's quarter-final clash.
The Witches netted twice in each half for a worthy victory before Cameron Brookes' late goal proved in vain for Oakham.
Manager Seb Hayes had set his sights on adding League Cup glory to their pre-season success in the Rutland Cup competition and admitted Saturday's defeat had been 'soul destroying.'
He said: "I can't take anything away from Warboys because they were better than us on the day.
"We haven't performed and they didn't allow us to get into our stride. They out-worked us, out-battled us and out-fought us and, when they had their chances, they took them.
"They were ruthless and it was hard being on the end of that because it's how I like my sides to be.
"It was a cup that I felt was win-able for us so to go out is soul-destroying."
Oakham had started well in the opening 15 minutes of the last eight tie but were unable to find a way past a resolute Warboys side.
The visitors then started to take control of the contest and scored two quick-fire goals to put Oakham on the back foot.
Hayes introduced Andy Buckle and Adam Rothery - who had both missed the previous week's win over Netherton - off the substitutes' bench and switched to a more attacking formation.
However, Warboys continued to hold the upper hand and netted twice more in the second half before Brookes netted a tidy goal for the hosts.
Ceri Hayes played the ball into Michael Nelson who laid it off to Brookes and he beat his man before side-stepping the keeper and slotting home.
Manager Hayes added: "We started the game really well, were in it and had chances. The ball was in their final third for the majority of the first 15 minutes.
"But they defended for their lives and grew into the game before getting on top. We just rolled over after they scored their first goal.
"We are a momentum team and, when we get the bit between our teeth, we are a hard side to play against but we didn't have that on Saturday.
"We did go for it after their second goal and, as a manager, I wasn't happy with my performance.
"I probably went for it too earlier so it's not all about me laying everything at the players' door.
"My attitude is to try and win all the time though. It has worked for me in the past and hopefully it will work for me again."
Oakham now return to league action this weekend with a Premier Division trip to Moulton Harrox (kick-off 1pm) with Hayes aiming to finish with a flourish.
He continued: "I don't want the season to peter out now because I want to finish as high as we can in the league.
"We have got three hard games left but they are all win-able. All of the teams around us have got to play the top sides so finishing fifth is achievable and that would be a good finish considering where the club has been the last couple of seasons."