CERI Jones admits he cannot fault the effort Virginia Water put in to the Reading Senior Cup tie despite a 2-0 defeat to Woodley United after extra time on Tuesday.

The first round tie at Stag Meadow finished 0-0 after 90 minutes but goals in the additional 30 minute period from Danny Horscroft and Owen Davies sent higher-league Woodley through.

Jones knows his team had chances to win the match in normal time but admits his players ran out of legs after a gruelling run of seven matches in 26 days.

Speaking to the Observer, the Waters manager said: “It was a disappointing result in the end but I can’t fault the effort from the team especially after having had so many games over a short period of time.

“We had every opportunity to win the game over the first 90 minutes but I think we ran out of legs in the two periods of extra time.

“I can’t fault the effort of the players and we created many chances, in particular from the throw-ins and set pieces, and it’s disappointing not to convert any of those.

“We made four or five changes which in no way weakens the side and in no way is that an excuse.

“It’s a shame we didn’t win in the 90 minutes but I can’t fault the effort from the boys.”

Commenting on his message to the players before the start of extra-time, Jones said: “Basically to keep going as much as we did in the first 90 minutes, play in the right areas, be patient and we always thought the chances would come.

“It was a bit of an unfortunate goal to concede then the second came at the death when we were chasing the game, but the effort was terrific and I think we ran out of legs in the end.”

He added: “We had a couple of chances when we were one down. Adam McNamara went close with a left-foot shot that went just past the post.

“We felt there were a couple of decisions that could have gone our way on another day but that’s football and it happens.

“We more than held our own and we had opportunities to win in the 90 minutes.

“We more than did ourselves proud and I’m sure that will put us in good stead for the future.”

To rub salt in their wounds, central defender Finn Evered was shown a straight red card in the dying seconds for dissent, meaning he will now be banned for three matches.

Jones bemoaned: “I don’t know the exact words said to the referee. but it’s disappointing to get a red card for dissent because Finn has been so outstanding for us this year.

"To receive a red card when he was clearly fouled from behind, which was completely over-looked, is a disappointment for anyone I’m sure.”

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