'Every player needs to look at themself' says Ben Close following Doncaster Rovers' embarrassing FA Cup exit

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Ben Close says every Doncaster Rovers player must look themselves in the mirror following their FA Cup humbling at the hands of sixth tier King’s Lynn Town.

The National League North high-flyers won Saturday’s first round tie 1-0 at the Eco-Power Stadium although their impressive performance merited victory by a wider margin.

Rovers must now lick their wounds as they prepare for this weekend’s short trip to Grimsby Town in League Two. Never before had Doncaster lost at home to non-league opposition in the FA Cup as a Football League club.

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"I think we prepared well enough for the game but for whatever reason we didn't start the game well enough and couldn't kick on,” said midfielder Close.

Ben Close in action against King's Lynn. Picture: Liam Ford/AHPIX LTDBen Close in action against King's Lynn. Picture: Liam Ford/AHPIX LTD
Ben Close in action against King's Lynn. Picture: Liam Ford/AHPIX LTD

“We need to watch it back and players need to have a look in the mirror and see where they went wrong.

“Every player needs to look at themself, look at the performance and identify what went wrong, how we need to improve and make sure that doesn't happen again. Every single player needs to go through that.”

King’s Lynn pressed Rovers at every opportunity and the hosts struggled to play out from the back, lost the midfield battle and took over an hour to register an attempt on goal.

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Doncaster’s woeful performance came despite encouraging signs in new boss Danny Schofield’s first three games in charge.

“Every team presents a different challenge,” said Close, when asked about the stark contrast to recent performances.

“King's Lynn I thought posed us more of a challenge today. They worked us out and they played to their strengths and we didn't quite work them out.

“There's obviously a couple of leagues difference but I thought on the day they were very good.”

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He added: “It's a tough one to take. The result is obviously incredibly disappointing but the performance was just as disappointing.

“We didn't match them at anything, really. I thought they were the better team throughout the game.

“They were picking up loose balls, they were better on the ball and overall we can't have any complaints.

“We're prepared to not have the ball as well. We've got a shape that the manager's given us that we need to stick to so we're prepared when we're on the ball and we're off the ball.

“Today we didn't start the game well enough and that sets the tone. It's hard to get ouf of a low gear. We know where we went wrong and we need to put that right.”