BALTI Sports’ boss Marco Nott admitted his side’s 3-1 Dorset League Cup quarter-final exit to Holt United at Weymouth College left a “bitter taste in the mouth” as poor availability was again a burning issue.

The loss was Balti’s fifth in succession during a period of form increasingly reminiscent of last season’s uncharacteristic slump in the winter months.

Sports had high hopes of mounting a big challenge for the final piece of silverware realistically available to them this season.

However, Holt had other ideas and soon cantered to a 2-0 half-time lead in blustery conditions.

Balti allowed Holt too much time in possession and the visitors’ right-sided winger was allowed to cut inside before unleashing a shot beyond goalkeeper Andy Nott into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

United then capitalised on more generous defending when a seemingly routine free-kick out wide resulted in a Holt runner ghosting in and burying a finish to double the away side’s lead.

Second-half substitute Ricky Lane pulled one back for Balti when his 30-yard free-kick bemused the Holt gloveman into a mistake.

The goal renewed the hosts’ spirit and manager Nott’s men were unlucky to strike the post before a killer blow with 15 minutes remaining.

Hesitance in the centre-back positions between Simon Proffitt and Darren Harding allowed marksman Nathan Saxby to collect possession and apply a deadly finish to complete the scoring.

Speaking to Echosport, boss Nott slammed the poor availability of his squad – despite having a meeting to resolve the issue in midweek.

He said: “Credit to the lads, they kept going. But as soon as the third goal went in, it was game over.

“It’s extremely disappointing to get knocked out of the cup – we did want to go on a run. That’s all come to a halt now.

“I’m certainly disappointed in the availability of the players – we had 12 and Ricky made it 13.

“It’s a bit poor for a DPL side to be waiting and begging on players. Ethan (Devaney) didn’t make it in the end and Macca (Carl McClements) is away.

“That’s my bug this season and the whole point of that meeting on Tuesday.

“We were at home as well – we’d have a bit more of an excuse if it was away. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth – that frustrates me.”

Balti host a resurgent Corfe Castle at Weymouth College on Saturday (2pm).

Balti: A Nott, R Walker, Harding, Proffitt, O’Shaughnessy, Nichols, Kenderdine, Dovell, Dean (Lane 50), Reader (S Walker 75), Andrews (L Taylor



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