DISAPPOINTED Weymouth boss Brian Stock admitted two “gifted” goals to Oxford City gave the Terras an “uphill battle” in their 3-2 FA Cup loss at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Weymouth have not reached the main draw for 13 seasons and fell at the final qualifying hurdle for the sixth time in that period with defeat to the Hoops.
In a wretched first-half display, a poor tackle from Myles Anderson gave away a penalty from which James Roberts made it 1-0 with a venomous conversion.
City had two goals in two minutes when Jake McCarthy’s sloppy backpass handed Josh Ashby an unmissable chance for 2-0.
Weymouth did not have a shot at goal in the first half but improved in the second thanks to the introduction of skipper Josh McQuoid.
The former Northern Ireland international’s impact spurred Weymouth on and Ollie Harfield’s cross was sliced into his own net by Luis Fernandez in the 54th minute.
Weymouth were suddenly creating chances at will and a clinical first-time finish from Andy Robinson restored parity eight minutes later.
But City regrouped and deservedly won it at the death, Louis Hall volleying home Nana Owusu’s cross.
Post-match, Stock did not hide his displeasure at the performance and result.
He said: “I’m obviously disappointed. We didn’t even get going until the second half.
“When you look at the two goals that we gifted Oxford it was two mistakes that you can never legislate for.
“We gifted them a 2-0 lead and it was an uphill battle from there on.
“Second half, take tactics, take formations out of the equation, they came out with more urgency, more fight and wanting to go out and win a game of football.
“That was never evident (from Weymouth) in the first half.
“There were two individual errors, there’s no doubt about that. We can’t give a backpass and gift them a tap-in and the penalty you’ve got to stand up.
“The team performance as a whole in the first half was unacceptable. I’m learning more about the squad every week and I learnt a lot first half.”
Weymouth had chances to win the game at 2-2 but Stock named the Terras’ “naivety” and praised Oxford’s quality as reasons for defeat.
“I felt we had the ascendancy to go on and win the game. My substitutions were quite positive in order to try and nick a winner.
“Again, the word naivety comes into play in terms of how we conceded the third goal.
“All credit to Oxford, they kept going. If the fans were in it was a real classic FA Cup tie, but sadly we’ve not come away with a victory.”
Stock reserved praise for McQuoid, who was one of four players to return from self-isolation.
He said: “I think Josh, since we came back from his two-week break, in training and the game, has made a fantastic contribution.
“He almost ignited the lads, encouraged a driving force and created a couple of opportunities himself.
“It’s all very well saying he’s come on and made a difference – we’ve lost the game. There’s certainly a few things we’ll be discussing in the build-up to (tomorrow).”
Weymouth visit Bromley in Vanarama National League action tomorrow (7.45pm).