Alton boss Kevin Adair questioned the desire of some of his players after they exited the Combined Counties League Cup on Tuesday night with a 3-0 defeat at home to North Greenford United in the third round.

Perry Price broke the deadlock for the visitors in the first half, before Joe Mills doubled North Greenford’s advantage after the break. Price scored his second of the night to complete the scoring.

Alton lost 8-0 at Badshot Lea last Tuesday night, before earning a 3-3 draw at Abbey Rangers on Saturday and then exiting the League Cup, and Adair admitted his frustration at the Jekyll and Hyde nature of his side’s displays.

“We got what we deserved – we conceded three goals and contributed to at least two of them,” said Adair. “We didn’t create any clear opportunities in the second half, and we sort of expected a reaction after only being one behind.

“To go from the lows of last Tuesday, to then respond and react like we did on Saturday, and then turn in a performance like this – it sort of sums up where we are as a team, but it’s just not good enough.

“One week we’re really good, and then another week we’re just not good enough. It’s the basic things – teams don’t play through us, we don’t get broken down time and time and time again.

“We serve up silly goals and give away silly mistakes.

“I think sometimes it’s got to be the attitude of the lads at the time, because they don’t go from being a good player on Saturday to a bad player on Tuesday.

“There’s certain things we ask for here at the club, and desire is one of them. I’m not sure I see desire every time we play. We’re not playing parks football, you’re playing Step 5 football – you’re expected to turn up and do things, and if you don’t you’ll get beaten.

“It’s a group I’ve put together so it’s probably as much my responsibility as it is theirs. But I do have to look round and say am I getting enough out of some of them now?

“It’s difficult because we do have a big squad – but then two weeks ago we were looking at being close to full strength and then two weeks later we’ve got eight missing through injury. It’s difficult, but it’s just how it is.

“The involvement of the youngsters is good, although it’s not a great experience to be on the end of a defeat, but they are developing so we need to keep doing that.

“At the same time I think I do need to bring in some bits of quality to add to the squad. I think I just need to bring something that will freshen things up a little bit.

“We’ve probably played more football than anyone, and with the Christmas programme we put on I probably should have thought a bit more about resting people. That’s down to me – I probably have to take responsibility for that and I’ll have to review that next year.”

Alton were only 1-0 down at the break after a fairly even first half, but North Greenford pulled away after the interval, and Adair was disappointed with his side’s second-half performance.

“At half time the conversation was we’re in the game and we’ve only got to step it up a little bit to compete and get an equaliser, but if anything we came out worse and they probably came out quicker and sharper – hence they put us to bed with another couple of goals.

“We’ll now try to work our way up the league a little bit, and try to get as respectable a position as we can in that. We’re still in the Aldershot Senior Cup, so the season’s not finished for us in terms of having something to play for.”