Winslow United manager Scott Reynolds admitted his side were beaten by a far better outfit after their 8-0 thrashing at the hands of runaway league leaders Welwyn Garden City.
The visitors were on the front foot from kick-off and although Winslow had the first clear-cut chance when Dale Butler scooped over Drew Mitten’s cross, they were dominant throughout with Joel Norris scoring a first half hat-trick.
United had their moments with visiting goalkeeper Joe Croft producing a superb reaction save to deny Jason Costello, but Welwyn remained on top as Marc Arnott’s brace made it 5-0 at half-time.
Butler and Grant Karwacinski both went close for Winslow in the opening stages of the second half before Welwyn added further goals through Norris, Arnott and Yasin Boodhoo.
Reynolds said afterwards: “It’s safe to say we were beaten by a far better side today. Apart from two good chances in first half and a soft penalty appeal in the second, we rarely got out of our half.
“The pattern of the game started as early as the 10th second when a long ball from kick-off was aimed at our full-back, who headed it out for a corner, and from that point onwards we struggled to get out of our half and before the 10 minute mark had defended no fewer than seven corners.
“A few soft goals and a couple of well worked set-pieces saw them 5-0 up at half-time and deservedly so. Goalkeeper Tom Weymes saved a penalty too so it could have been more.
“We attempted to re-group and reminded the players at half time of how we intended to play from the start of the game, and we started the second half far better, but in truth had nothing good enough in our locker to trouble them.
“The only thing we can do is learn from it. Their level of discipline, determination, organisation, leadership and professionalism was something I haven’t seen at this level before.
“Even at 8-0 up with 30 seconds left their two centre halves were constantly organising the side and trying to get the very best from them all of the time.
“Hopefully my lads can take on some of those characteristics in upcoming games.”
Winslow drop one place to 19t in South Midlands League Division One ahead of this weekend’s crucial encounter with fellow relegation strugglers Arlesey Town Reserves.
Reynolds added: “We now have a free week where we can train twice and pick the lads up before two further home games. Saturday we host Arlesey Town Reserves and then following Tuesday we play Southall. We need six points from those two games.”