Gary Horgan said that Chippenham Town’s 2-0 defeat against Maidstone United was a “perfect storm” of factors conspiring against them.

The Stones took the lead after 13 minutes when Lamar Reynolds’ drilled cross was prodded into the path of Connor Kelly, who after having a first shot blocked, sent the rebound into the awaiting net.

One quickly became two when a flowing move saw Michael Petrasso ghost in behind the Bluebirds’ defence and pull the ball back to Sol Wanjau-Smith, who cooly rolled the ball into the back into the corner.

A dominant first half display from the visitors could have resulted in another goal when Devonte Aransibia drove down the left flank and cut the ball back to Kelly, and his strike rattled Will Henry’s crossbar.

After the break Dylan Morgan outmuscled Luke Haines and curled a shot towards the far corner, only to be denied by a top save from Henry.

Horgan said that this was the first game this campaign that Chippenham had been well beaten as they battled with the heat and fatigue after playing with ten-men in the week.

He said: “This is the first time this season where I have said that we were beaten by the better side.

“We performed really well on Tuesday against Taunton, and I think playing for nearly 80 minutes with ten men going into Saturday and not being able to make too many changes against a full-time team in the heat.

“It was not necessarily one game too far, but we just looked a bit off it, and it is the first time where I can honestly say we looked a bit tired.

“It was hot just watching the game, so making lung busting runs in that heat must have been really challenging.

“A number of our players reported higher levels of fatigue than normal and looking back at the data, it was the lowest in terms of the intensity of our running that the group have recorded this year.

“Tuesday caught up with us and playing a full-time team on Saturday, with us not able to make those changes, it was almost a perfect storm.

“But it was the same for them, maybe not in terms of the minutes played and they have a bigger squad and made more changes.

“But there are no excuses from us at all, on the day we were just beaten by the better side.”