An annoyed Lee Bircham pulled few punches and expects to see the right reaction after Bovingdon’s Anagram Records Trophy hopes ended with a 2-1 defeat at home to Wormley Rovers.

The Herts Senior County League leaders have suffered just one loss in an otherwise perfect Premier Division campaign to date that has left them six points clear with two games in hand.

But their bid to reach the cup semi-final was undermined by a poor first-half performance which left them two goals down at the break, a hurdle which ultimately proved too much despite Lewis Pritchard handing his side a lifeline with 15 minutes to go.

“The boys have been great but I was livid with the first half today and will not tolerate that,” the Bovingdon boss said after Saturday’s defeat. “That’s by far the worst we’ve played.

“Right from the kick off we lethargically gave the ball away cheaply and that seemed to set the tone for the next 10 to 15 minutes.

“We gave away two cheap goals, especially the second which was plain crazy with a minute to go until half-time.

“Football is all about learning from your mistakes and as long as the players do then it’s not a problem.”

Bircham added: “It’s very hard when you are doing well to get the balance right between confident and cocky. Today we were too close to the latter for my liking.”

Having capitalised on the home side’s sloppy start to take the lead after five minutes, Wormley were to be gifted a second when a mistake at the back left them four-on-two and they duly capitalised.

The hosts were unable to turn their second-half dominance into goals until substitute Pritchard finished well with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.

Louis Austin and Matt Standen then failed to make the most of fine chances as Bovingdon’s quest for an equaliser was unsuccessful; Connor Deadman seeing another effort beat the keeper but not the post.

“As long as we react the correct way like we did last time we got beat then it might not do us any harm in the long run,” Bircham added, before praising Ed Canham, describing the centre-half as “excellent today as he has been since joined to be fair. He did not deserve to be on the losing side".

Weather permitting, Bovingdon have another quarter-final on Saturday when they entertain Sun Sports Reserves in the last eight of the Aubrey Cup.

Adrian Abramian’s second-half goal was not enough to save Chipperfield Corinthians from a 2-1 defeat at Standon & Puckeridge, while fellow Premier Division strugglers Evergreen were thumped 5-1 at home by Sandridge Rovers. Chris Blunden scored the home side’s only goal.

Bovingdon Reserves are three points clear at the top of Division One after Josh Bundey’s goal earned a 1-1 draw at Hinton.

Tim O’Mara led the way with a brace as Oxhey Jets Reserves thumped Bengeo Trinity 6-1.

The other goals were shared between Andrew Amoah, Luke Peters, Matthew Goodman and Tokunbo Sule.