We threw it away’
MARCH Town United manager Brett Whaley has demanded improvement and a reaction from his players after they were knocked out of the Ridgeons League Cup. The Hares were beaten 3-2 at Norwich United on Tuesday evening and Whaley was left frustrated and disa
MARCH Town United manager Brett Whaley has demanded improvement and a reaction from his players after they were knocked out of the Ridgeons League Cup.
The Hares were beaten 3-2 at Norwich United on Tuesday evening and Whaley was left "frustrated and disappointed" by his team's performance in the preliminary round fixture.
Having twice taken the lead, March allowed their opponents back into the game and a last-minute goal dumped them out of the cup.
It is the second successive game in which the Hares have let a lead slip in a cup match and lost to a late winner.
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Last week, March lost 2-1 to Woodbridge Town in the FA Vase second qualifying round.
And the League Cup clash followed a similar pattern with March twice taking the lead through goals from Ashley Brand.
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Despite losing a player to a late red card, Norwich took advantage of the Hares' failure to wrap-up the game and progressed to the next round.
The March manager was not impressed with the result, saying: "I am really frustrated and disappointed that we have lost matches in the same circumstances.
"We have also thrown away games in the league and I am annoyed that we have failed to learn from our mistakes.
"The lads must learn how to close out games and cut out individual mistakes that are being punished by our opponents.
"We are missing chances at one end of the pitch and making costly errors in defence."
Ashley Brand's goals were twice cancelled out and the March striker had a good chance to kill off the game.
However, the home side hit back and a misplaced pass from skipper Luke Pepper resulted in a heart-breaking winner.
Whaley said: "It is easy to point the finger but every player is making mistakes across the pitch."
And the Hares' inability to keep the ball out of their own net is a concern for Whaley.
He said: "We have played well in patches but we have not kept a clean sheet yet.
"We are never involved in boring, low-scoring games. We are good going forward and when we are in possession but we don't defend well under pressure."
Despite his concerns, Whaley is keen to move on from the cup exit. He said: "There are things we need to work on in training but I am very positive.
"We are now entering a crucial period of the season and we must improve now otherwise we will lose ground in the league.
"I am very pleased with the squad and it is settling down nicely. I think we could do with signing one more centre half but that is all we need."
Whaley has secured the signing of Huntingdon Town winger Carl Foreman and he should feature for the Hares when they return to league action tomorrow (Saturday).
March entertain Saffron Walden Town and Whaley is keen to see a good performance from his players.
He said: "I do want to see a reaction from the players. This has been the first time I have had words with the lads and asked for more from them."
March are also in action at the GER on Tuesday evening when they take on local rivals Ely City in the Ridgeons First Division Knockout Cup.
Captain Luke Pepper starts a three-game suspension and will miss both games.