ADAM Lakeland, Northwich Victoria’s manager, admitted his side were second-best during an FA Trophy replay defeat at Mossley on Tuesday.
They did threaten a comeback when Godwin Abadaki made it 2-1 with eight minutes left, only for substitute Damase Kiwanda’s reply for the Lilywhites to end their hopes moments later.
Mossley’s reward is a home date with league rivals Farsley Celtic in the next round.
“The truth is we didn’t get near to the standards we’ve set in recent weeks and that’s our biggest regret,” said Lakeland.
“We were fortunate not to be further behind at half-time if I’m honest, because we struggled to string three passes together.
“They were sharper than we were, more aggressive too, and that’s disappointing.”
Mossley dominated the opening period, although they did not break through until four minutes before the break when Andy Keogh’s cross sneaked into the corner.
Mike Fish’s attempt had hit an upright earlier on, while Tom Pratt blazed wildly off-target when well-placed.
Vics’ best chance fell to Abadaki, who intercepted a loose pass by Robert Bourne before racing clear.
However goalkeeper Liam Flynn blocked a goal-bound attempt with his legs.
Mossley doubled their lead on 55 minutes when Fish steered Keogh’s cross to the far post after captain Matthew Regan had given the ball away cheaply in the hosts’ half.
Abadaki’s header, from Lanre Olopade’s centre, halved the visitors’ arrears.
However Kiwanda was first to a loose ball after goalkeeper Mason Springthorpe saved his initial attempt, restoring a two-goal advantage.
Abadaki converted Jamie Hinchliffe’s pull-back to double his tally for the night, but Vics could not conjure another goal to force extra time.
Lakeland added: “Too many players were below-par.
“We made a lot of poor decisions all over the pitch, and that’s what has cost us.
“It’s important now to dust ourselves down and get quickly to playing as we have been.”
Chasetown are their guests at Wincham Park this Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Mossley | Flynn (GK), Harrison, Haslam, McDonnell, Harper, Fish, Hill, Bourne (Benjamin 83), Gosling (Kiwanda 76), Keogh, Pratt Subs not used Bove, Short, Jones Goals Keogh 41, Fish 55, Kiwanda 85 Booked Bourne
Vics | Springthorpe (GK), Olopade, Fitzgerald, Regan, Pritchard, Brewster (Hughes 63), Simon Lakeland (Edwards 86), Nolan, Abadaki, Hinchliffe, Gyimah (Clarke 63) Sub not used Hill (GK) Goals Abadaki 82, 87 Booked Fitzgerald
Referee Lewis Raper
Match report by Jamie Dewsbury