4-1 defeat leaves Takeley with a lot to do in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final

TAKELEY have been left with a mountain to climb to reach the League Cup final after conceding four goals in the opening 45 minutes of Tuesday night’s semi-final first leg.

Boss Steve Castle described it as “a bad day at the office” and lamented a string of mistakes and missed opportunities which led to the 4-1 defeat to Burnham Ramblers.

“We have not had many at Takeley this season but unfortunately it happened in one of the most important games of the season,” Castle told the Broadcast.

“I’ve been in and around football long enough to know that sometimes you get games which are a bit of a head scratcher and you wonder where that performance came from.

“I won’t name names but four or five of the lads had their worst games for Takeley since they started here and that is too many players,” he added.

Despite the tough task before them, Castle insisted all was not lost as his side gear up for what could be their final game of the season.

“We have got to do better than we did on Tuesday night, the lads know that, and they have got the opportunity to put it right next week.

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“With the situation as it is, we will need to go out all guns blazing if we are to win the tie. There is a chance we could get caught on the break, and that would mean we would need four goals, but we have got to go for it,” he added.

“The first goal will be vital and if we can get it then hopefully we can push on. Both teams know the tie is not over.”

Takeley’s solitary goal came in the second half, thanks to a … penalty. But that was as far as the comeback got, despite a number of chances that Castle said would have given his team more of a fighting chance, were it not for poor finishing.

Meanwhile, in last Saturday’s final league game of the season, Takeley went down 2-0 to runners-up Southend Manor. With a string of players either missing or rested, Castle took the opportunity to blood some youngsters - including 16-year-old man of the match Joe Wise.

The semi-final second leg against Burnham Ramblers will take place at Station Road next Tuesday (April 24), kick-off 7.45pm.