WINDSOR interim-manager Luke Brooks-Smith admits that his side only have themselves to blame after a 3-0 defeat to Reading City in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday, writes Rob Stevens.

The Stag Meadow-based club conceded three soft goals in the second half before being reduced to 10-men in the closing stages, leaving them without a win or a goal in the first three matches of the season.

Reading were unfortunate not to break the deadlock in the first period when former Windsor player Matthew Stockill beat keeper Joe Whiter but saw his low shot come back off the foot of the far post.

City arrived at Stag Meadow having won their opening two league matches in the new season and opened the scoring on the hour mark when Steve Lee headed home from a Mekpy Palmer corner at the back post.

The visitors were gifted the chance to double their advantage in the 68th minute after a foul on Khalid Simmo from Windsor captain Luke Appleton. Devonn Reid stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and sent Whiter the wrong way – scoring low to the right-hand post.

Reading secured their progress into the preliminary round when Stockill fired a loose ball into the top right-hand corner from over 25-yards after 78 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for Windsor as Robert Lazarczuk was dismissed for a second bookable offence with five minutes of normal time remaining. Having been booked earlier for dissent he turned his back on referee Thomas Kelly, who brandished the red card.

George Gould was shown a straight red card second later for a strong but reckless challenge on Dan Davies, leaving Windsor to play the remaining four minutes and time added on with just nine men.

Brooks-Smith told the Observer: “It’s disappointing but I felt we were the makers of our own downfall. Just our quality in possession -there was too many mistakes and our decision-making let us down.

“On the odd occasion in the first half when we did have consistent passing and good decision-making we managed to move from back to front without Reading laying a hand on us. The problem was that just didn’t happen enough.

“We gave the ball away too cheaply in midfield and we played into their hands, so there were able to counter-attack us quite quickly.

“The three goals just summed us up – just poor decision-making.

“The discussion at half-time was we just needed to improve the quality of our passing a little bit. We made a couple of chances in the first half but if we could just go up a level there was goals there for us.

“Rob is going on holiday for a month tomorrow which we knew about anyway, but on his return now it’s another game he won’t be available.

“It was a strong tackle from George and one of those where, a couple of years ago, he probably would’ve got away with it because he did get a chuck of the ball, but he left the ground with studs showing and connected with the player afterwards. Probably that is now a red card so we’re going to miss him and his experience for the next couple of games.”

The interim boss continued: “There is a little bit of a lack in confidence when you’ve lost two on the spin and you’ve not scored a goal yet. It’s difficult because we’ve got a lot of young players in the team and you can see the confidence isn’t where it needs to be.

“My job now is to try and keeps things positive and get it right for the next game.

“We’ve just got to try and get the balance right. We want to be a team that tries to plays football but, at the moment we’re playing football but making too many mistakes doing it.

“I do not want to completely change the script and become a long ball team because I don’t think that will play into our strengths.

“We’ve just got to persevere with it. There are a lot of young players here so hopefully they’re going to learn and quickly and.

“Over the next couple of weeks, until there’s a permanent manager, we will try to keep on bringing in players that will improve the team."