MARLOW boss Mark Bartley accused his players of lacking desire after they crashed out of the FA Vase to unfancied Kidlington.
After tipping his team to win the competition recently, the manager was stunned to see them beaten 4-2 by fourth from bottom Kidlington, writes Sam Goold Knibbs .
Batley said: “With our lack of desire, we ultimately let ourselves down.”
The Blues, despite having the majority of the possession, were left stunned when they conceded two poor first-half goals.
After conceding another after the restart, the home side fought back and almost pulled it level, but a missed penalty and weakness in defence and an inability to convert chances caused Marlow’s downfall - and when Kidlington’s fourth flew in the the game was out of reach.
Bartley conceded: “We didn’t give a good account of ourselves. When you don’t have the answers, you get beat.
“Kidlington got what they deserved. They wanted it more. They played with desire, a better work rate, and got the reward."
Bartley’s men’s passion could definitely be questioned in the first half. The visitors started the brighter and there were early worries when Green’s Tommy Castle’s strike fizzed wide of keeper Oneal Garnes’s goal.
But Garnes was beaten moments later when Castle came charging at defender James Knight. After side stepping past Knight, he swung in a cross for striker Ryan Curtin to lash it past the keeper for his first of the game.
Castle was again at the centre of the action. After picking the ball up in the middle, he went on a run avoiding tackles to eventually lay-off Curtin who squeezed his shot low past the Keeper at the near post.
Marlow were left with hill to climb and failed to get their footing. After the restart, the Buckinghamshire outfit began to take charge of proceedings but were failing to make their possession count upfront. Kidlington made their first chance count; on the break they were gifted the first penalty of the game.
Curtin was brought down in the box and secured his hat-trick when he blasted it low past the keeper.
Changes had to be made. Richard Witt and Michael Bartley were introduced and made immediate impacts.
Witt curled in a cross and when Captain Danny Lingwood was fouled in the box, Marlow were gifted a lifeline. Nathan Ashton stepped up for his first penalty of the game and fired it in top corner.
The goal had roused Bartley's side, which now began to through everything forward. Kidlington were pinned in their half. Something had to give, and it did when Michael Barltey got on the end of a corner to head goal-ward, Ian Davies helped it on with a poke to push it past the keeper.
At 3-2 Kiddlington were entrenched with 11 men behind the ball trying to hold out. Ian Davies was tripped in the box and the third penalty of the game was rewarded. Ashton stepped up but produced a poor penalty which Matt Dixon pushed parried around his corner.
Ultimately time had run out for the League leaders. Lingwood’s wayward pass which was snatched by Castle who sprinted into the box and, as Garnes came out, passed it past the keeper to an unmarked Curtin who rolled it in for his fourth.