FORMER Pompey striker Patrick Agyemang impressed on his Baffins Milton Rovers debut but they were knocked out of the FA Vase at Horley.
It wasn’t the best team display from the visitors who lost 4-1 and ended the match with nine men.
But manager Louis Bell was very pleased with the contribution of Agyemang who set a good example to the other players with his powerful performance.
‘Agyemang was fantastic and posed a threat all afternoon,’ said the Baffins boss.
‘He led the line and was talking to the young lads around him.
‘His influence both on and off the pitch will be a great asset to us.
‘He played the 90 minutes and though he tired towards the end that had to be expected.
‘Apart from him and Callum Dart I think the rest of the players were affected by the occasion.
‘A lot of them have not played in a game as big as this before.
‘They froze with the opportunity of reaching the last 32 in front of them.’
Baffins were caught cold early and fell behind after only two minutes.
They failed to deal with a long throw into their area and the home side capitalised on it.
On a poor playing surface Baffins then played some neat and tidy football before grabbing a deserved 37th-minute equaliser.
Lewis Stockford delivered a great free-kick, Agyemang headed the ball on and Shane Cornish looped in a good header.
Baffins were behind again just before half-time when a deflected shot wrong-footed visiting goalkeeper Tony Male.
Even at 2-1 down Bell felt his team had the opportunity to win the game and make progress.
They just couldn’t quite going in the second half, though and the sending offs clearly didn’t help.
‘At half-time I still felt we could go on and win the game,’ added Bell.
Cornish was sent off for a second bookable offence when Baffins felt the foul should have been awarded to them.
Soon afterwards Ashton Leigh received a straight red card.
That made the task an almost impossible one for Baffins.
Horley went on to add two more goals to run out comfortable winners in the end.
‘We were stunned by the first sending off and the second was for retaliation after their lad had elbowed our player,’ said Bell.