BOSS Tom Killick stated there were “no excuses” for Poole’s second cup exit in eight days after their 1-0 loss to Hartley Wintney.

Dolphins found themselves on the wrong of a home defeat to a Southern League South side again as Adam Cornell struck 10 minutes from time to send the Hampshire outfit through to the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

Killick, who asked for a response from his players after their lackadaisical performance against Hayes and Yeading in the FA Cup, said: “I tried not to give ourselves excuses in the Hayes and Yeading games because there was a lot at stake.

“The first game we were nervous, and with the second game I felt we were suffering from a hangover from conceding so late on in the first game.

“But on Tuesday night there are no excuses. It was a home game in a cup competition we wanted to do well in. There’s just no excuse for the way we played."

He added: "It wasn’t one of those games where it was a smash and grab and the away team has defended for their lives and nicked a goal.

“They were better, they had the better chances, they looked more likely to score a goal.

“We barely created a chance all game. So, you can’t complain about the result. We were so poor in pretty much every aspect. There was only ever going to be one outcome.”

Defeat saw an impromptu meeting in the changing rooms where players and staff discussed the sudden slump in form.

"We were in the changing room for a while," said Killick.

"People had a chance to have their say about what went wrong, not just on Tuesday but the two games before as well. We were just trying to formulate a plan, or to decide on the best way we move forward.”

Both the players and Killick are now focussing solely on their promotion push after being dumped out of two cup competitors.

“The FA Trophy was a competition we really wanted to do well in," said the boss.

"But the thing we’re obsessed with is trying to do well in the league.

"We’ve had three poor performances. But in terms of our overwhelming objective, which is to do well in the league, it hasn’t actually caused any damage.

“It’s caused all sorts of damage in other aspects, especially financially and excitement and occasions for the club, but we’ve not done any harm to ourselves in the league.

“We have to focus on that, treat this as a blip and now try and be powerful going forward and continue the good form we’ve shown in the league.”