SWINDON Town manager David Flitcroft could not hide his bitter disappointment at his side’s failure to secure a place in the third round of the FA Cup.

On the back of consecutive defeats in League Two, Town were unable to arrest their dip in form in the cup on Saturday as they crashed out in a heavy 5-2 defeat at fourth-tier rivals Stevenage.

Flitcroft had stressed the importance of earning progress in the cup to his players ahead of the trip to the Lamex Stadium, which made it all the more frustrating that the team responded with one of their worst performances of the season.

A hefty throng of Swindon fans made the trip to Hertfordshire, as did club chairman Lee Power, and Flitcroft felt his players had left the club hierarchy and their supporters short-changed with their display.

“We chatted in the week about taking responsibility and that’s why I am so disappointed that as a group and as a team, we haven’t done well,” said Flitcroft.

“We spoke about it intently – we stand up to set-pieces and we stand up to balls in the box and we haven’t done that.

“I am absolutely gutted that we are not in the next round of the FA Cup.

“All week I have expressed the importance of getting into that third round and what it means to the football club and what it means to people and we have not turned up in the defensive situations.

“I am gutted for the supporters who came across and wanted to back the team, I could feel that before the game.

“I wanted to get them into the next round, I wanted to get the chairman in the next round, who has supported me fantastically, and I have not been able to do that.

“It is a big disappointment for me.

“They do stay with you and it will stay with me but we have got to recover from it quickly and move on into next week in a positive frame of mind and with a positive attitude.”

Town will be looking to bounce back in another cup competition on Tuesday night when they host League Two rivals Forest Green Rovers in the second round of the Checkatrade Trophy.