WEYMOUTH manager Mark Molesley admitted he felt senses of “disappointment” and “pride” after the Terras bowed out of the FA Trophy first round with a 2-1 loss at Barnet.
Molesley’s men were again more than a match for National League opposition and the 19 places separating the sides were barely traceable as Weymouth gave the Bees a fright.
Josh Walker’s five-minute brace early in the first half eventually proved enough for Barnet, who were pegged back to 2-1 by Jake McCarthy’s 20th-minute deflected shot.
Jordan Ngalo then missed a golden chance to equalise before Dan Sparkes earned a second yellow late on – prompting a professional running down of the clock as Barnet held on to advance.
With Weymouth also having exited the FA Cup fourth qualifying round to National League rivals – a 2-1 loss to Dover – Molesley drew encouragement from yet another impressive display.
He told Echosport: “It was a mixture of disappointment and pride – we gave a good account of ourselves.
“We’ve gone toe-to-toe with two (National League) sides and run a very good race. On another day we could have got something out of the game – both with Dover and Barnet.
“They’re good sides with good players and our start was nowhere near good enough. We got punished for that.
“They’re very athletic, quick with good players up front that cause you a lot of problems. We didn’t quite get our distances and space as we would have liked.
“Having said that, looking at the second goal again it was offside so we feel a bit aggrieved that the winning goal was offside. It was a tight decision but nevertheless, it could’ve gone our way.
“We’re obviously disappointed because we’ve pushed two good sides close. We feel we’ve got the potential to get wins against that sort of calibre.”
Quizzed on a suspicion of handball for the first goal, Molesley added: “I didn’t see that. We were looking to play offside for the first one and didn’t quite get it right.
“I looked at our line for both goals. One was very good and one wasn’t. To see whether it’s handball or not, I’d have to look at it closer.
“Ultimately we’ve come up a bit short and only a little short in both games. For our high standards, we don’t want to come up short in any game, whoever it’s against.
“The good news is it’s another learning curve for us, but the thing that impresses me most about this group is their attitude.
“Against a free-scoring Barnet side to go 2-0 down so early, a lot of teams could’ve folded – but we didn’t.
“We fixed a few problems, plugged a few holes and the players had the awareness to fix what was happening. I felt as the game went on we went from strength to strength.
“We’re still disappointed we didn’t come away with anything.”