Alton bowed out of the Hampshire Senior Cup with a 1-0 defeat at their old Wessex League foes Fareham Town on Tuesday night.
It added to the Brewers’ disappointing start to the campaign, as they are without a win in their three league games and also bowed out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.
“We’re so disappointed,” said manager Kevin Adair after the loss at Cams Alders.
“It’s another defeat and it has come from our own mistake, which is becoming a bit of a pattern.
“For the first time, I’m not sure where to turn.
“We finished well at the end of the game when we were up against it, but we always seem to be able to do that. Are the players saving themselves a bit of energy or am I not letting the reins off early enough? Are we being too disciplined?
“I think it comes down to me as much as the players, as I’m setting up the team to play in a certain way but are we carrying it out?
“I think there may be a shared blame but who ends up going first? Maybe me.
“We’ve played five games and we haven’t got a win and it seems every time we make a mistake we are punished.
“When you are up against it, and things don’t go your way, you do start to feel uneasy.
“Fareham probably had a bit more desire to win than we did.
“It’s difficult because I’m not worried about the ability of the team. If we get a win, it will breed a bit of confidence.
“We are playing at a good level and mistakes get pounced on. We have to be more ruthless in matches.
“When I played, everything revolved around football. These days, it’s more a case of football revolves around life, and perhaps that’s the world we live in now, but I want the mentality that football comes first. But it’s not that easy.
“I believe in our players – I’d like to add a couple of bits of quality but every manager will say that. We have good competition for places here although I am not convinced yet we have decided what our best line-up is – we’re maybe a couple of weeks away from finding out what is our potential A team.
“But time waits for no man in this game...”
Fareham were up for the match from the start, as they aimed to impress their new manager Graham Rix the former Pompey manager and England midfielder.
The tie was a feisty affair at times, settled by a goal after 51 minutes when Charlie Copper’s shot was parried but not held by keeper Glen Andrews, and Calum Benfield gobbled up the rebound.
Andrews made amends later when he kept out Benfield’s poorly-struck penalty, but Alton threatened only rarely although Matt Brown scooped a late chance over the bar.
Alton are in FA Vase action tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to Horndean, and then entertain Badshot Lea on bank-holiday Monday (11.30am).