STEVE Wilkes has described Northwich Victoria’s display in a defeat against lower-ranked opponents in the Cheshire FA Senior Cup as ‘unacceptable’.

Vics lost 3-2 at Cammell Laird in a preliminary round tie on Tuesday night.

“It’s probably the angriest I’ve felt since coming here,” said Wilkes.

“Our first-half performance was totally unacceptable.”

He rested front man Jay Hart and full-back Daniel Johnson, but otherwise named a strong line-up.

Goals from Charlie McInnes and Kieran Hamm left the visitors 2-0 down by the break in Birkenhead.

However they rallied afterwards, and Matthew Carlin headed into his own net.

Striker Olly Walker then scored a stylish leveller, controlling smartly before steering the ball past goalkeeper Matthew Lavelle.

Vics looked likely to go on and win the game, only for Cammell Laird’s custodian to produce a brilliant save to stop substitute Hart’s free-kick.

Matty Clarke and Walker both failed to hit the target before Hamm was left unmarked at a corner to put the home team in front.

The contest ended sourly for Vics when goalkeeper Mike Donlon was sent off for a foul that prompted a scuffle book-ended by cautions for Brian Matthews and two Laird players.

Wilkes said: “I rested a couple of players because they’ve had niggly injuries, but we still should have had far too much for them.

“The positive I take is our performance in the first 25 minutes of the second-half when we got back to 2-2 from 2-0.

“However we then shot ourselves in the foot with some shocking defending at a corner.

“I made it plain and simple to certain individuals afterwards that I won’t tolerate another performance like that.”

Cammell Laird will meet Stockport Town in the last 16.

Vics head to Burscough in a North West Counties League Premier Division fixture on Saturday.

Vics | Donlon (GK), Grant (Johnson 46), Barski, Bennett, Kenny, Lawrence, Clarke, Bickett, Matthews, Durnin (Hart 46), Walker Subs not used Willis, Shaw, Fitton Goals Carlin 52 (own goal), Walker 67 Booked Matthews (ungentlemanly conduct) Sent off Donlon (foul)

Referee Daniel Bruce

Attendance 43