Chelmsford City boss Glenn Pennyfather expressed his disappointment after seeing his side finish in fifth place following a 3-1 defeat at Farnborough.
The Clarets were second best throughout in their final game of the regular Blue Square Bet South season at Cherrywood Road and they now face second-placed Salisbury City in the play-off semi-finals.
Goals from Daniel Bennet (45), Steve Laidler (83) and Josh Huggins (90) sealed victory for the Yellows, with Jamie Slabber’s injury-time reply a scant consolation for Pennyfather’s charges.
The 50-year-old concedes his players were complacent having already booked their place in the play-offs, and has demanded a reaction from them when the Whites visit Melbourne Stadium in their first-leg clash on Tuesday evening.
Pennyfather told the Essex Chronicle: “It’s disappointing, because we wanted to win that match. Farnborough were the better team on the day and, as much as you try to guard against it, we were off the pace a little with our spot in the play-offs already secured.
“Now we have to put the game to bed because we can’t dwell on it. Although I’d have loved to have won the league – my congratulations go to Welling – we’re in the position we wanted to be in.
“We can hold our own in these play-offs now we know what we’ve got to do. We’ve played Salisbury twice – won one and lost one.
“We’ve worked unbelievably hard to get to where we are, and I have total admiration for the players to have delivered the cup runs they have, dealing with the situations they’ve come up against and still getting us into the top five. We’ve all stayed together and we’ll do our very best to finish on a high.”
He added: “We got exactly what we deserved from this game… nothing. There are no positives we can take. It’s one we have to box away and forget about.
“If we’d have gone one or two ahead early in the match against a team who didn’t really have anything to play for, the story could have been different.
“Farnborough had that siege mentality and extra yard in their legs after a tough week, now we’ve got to react ourselves.”
Posted: Sunday , April 28, 2013