St Neots Town boss Matt Clements admitted his side were left with a ‘bloody nose’ after suffering a surprise FA Trophy knockout.

Clements’ men were beaten 1-0 by fellow Southern League Premier Division Central side Barwell at the second qualifying round stage yesterday.

One-time Premier League player Sylvan Ebanks Blake settled the contest with 13 minutes to go as Saints failed to take advantage of playing against 10 men for more than an hour.

“Losing the game has hit me flat in the face to be honest,” said Clements.

“We were very good in the first half where we played well, created lots of opportunities but didn’t have a goal to show for it.

“I felt we were certain to score if we continued to perform to that level, but we began the second half poorly and lacked quality throughout it.

“We found ourselves desperately chasing to get back into a game that we had earlier dominated, and we weren’t able to come up with the goal we needed.

“We weren’t ruthless enough when on top in the first half and we weren’t good enough in all areas in the second half.

“The end result is that we end up with a bloody nose after being beaten by a team who were down to 10 men for around 70 minutes in total.”

It is the sixth time in eight seasons that Saints have gone out of the FA Trophy at this stage.