Corinthian-Casuals crashed out of the FA Trophy against higher league opposition on Saturday but were guilty of not taking their chances as they lost 3-1 to Wingate and Finchley.

Though taking the lead via a 31st minute Dave Hodges goal, Casuals squandered opportunities letting the Bostik Premier side off the hook before succumbing to three sucker punches to knock them out of the competition. Casuals had real chances to extend their lead via Danny Cunningham, Max Oldham and Gabriel Odunaike but couldn't convert.

Wingate equalised nearing half-time when Ben Pattie’s expertly placed free kick beat Danny Bracken. Rob Laney and Reece Beckles-Richards ensured the visitors took home the prize fund of £4,000 and a place in the next round against Met Police.

“We were guilty of not taking our chances,” said Manager James Bracken following the defeat. “We had four or five gilt-edged chances that we should’ve taken.

“The first twenty minutes, I couldn’t believe how poor Wingate were. They seemed to have no desire to run for their manager.

“Annoyingly, we didn’t get to watch them before the tie because since we drew them out the hat, they haven’t played. So it was difficult to have a good look at them. However, I did see enough footage to know they have no real desire to work or don’t have the legs.

"The first quarter of the game, I thought we were so far on top. But it’s that age-old saying that when you are on top, you have to take your chances and put it to bed.

“We’ve come off being on top, trying to take extra touches, not playing the right passes and be more complicated than we needed to be. We didn’t need to complicate things. If we’d have just played simple, straight-forward football, there was only one winner.

“Obviously we gave them hope with the free kick before half time. It was a stupid one to give away. Over eagerness in an area where you don’t need to concede free kicks like that. They’ve scored it and grown into the game and got belief from it. But the crux of it is, we should’ve beaten them. The best from us beats the best from them… hands down.

“But ultimately, we got what we deserved.

“Those who underperformed, their places are under threat. There are plenty that are waiting for their chance. Who will I pick? I don’t know just yet. After a good run of sixteen games sometimes you give people the benefit of the doubt. But the boys need to know I don’t just say there’s competition for places without meaning it.

“If someone gets the chance and they step up to the mark, they’ll keep the shirt. Someone who has been playing might just find themselves on the bench for a month or two. Whoever plays, it’ll be boys that need to perform after the weekend’s performance or those who’ve sat waiting patiently and are hungry to prove a point.”

Casuals host second-bottom placed Ashford United in the League on Saturday.