LITTLE Oakley coach Gary Kioussis admitted his side received another “harsh lesson” in Tuesday’s First Division Knockout Cup defeat at Holland FC.

The hosts booked their place in the quarter-finals after a 2-0 victory at the Rush Green Bowl.

Both goals came in the first ten minutes - representing the worst possible start for the shell-shocked Acorns.

Although they battled hard during what became a very even and hard-fought contest, they left themselves with too big a mountain to climb.

“It was a dreadful start and the complete opposite to our league match against Sudbury’s academy side on Saturday (which Oakley won 3-2).

“Sudbury have a team of good footballers and play the ball around.

“It suited our game. We kicked off playing to a high tempo and we went 3-0 up.

“Holland, in contrast, are a hard, physical, strong side who were going to put the ball down our throat from the start.

“We’ve got to learn to cope with that kind of thing and the lads were absolutely devastated afterwards because they knew we could have got a result, had we played in the first ten minutes like we played in the following 80.

“It was a harsh lesson and we’ve had a few harsh lessons this season.

“On the strength of our second-half performance, we maybe deserved something from the game but if you start a game like that, you deserve everything you get.”

Early goals from Keelan Sorrell and Steve Eaton put Holland on the road to victory and set up a last-eight encounter at Whitton United.

Eaton was fouled in the area and Sorrell confidently slotted his low penalty beyond keeper Luke Tynan.

Then Eaton connected with a long ball forward and lifted the ball over the onrushing Acorns shot-stopper.

“We were caught ball-watching and it killed us,” added Kioussis.

“It was always going to be an uphill struggle after that.

“After those first few minutes, there was very little in it and we played the ball around nicely.

“We felt that if we could retain possession and look for that killer pass, we might be able to hurt them.

“However, unfortunately, a goal didn’t come.”

Oakley, who are 16th in the table, switch their attention back to the league tomorrow and a trip to Leiston Reserves.

“We’ll dust ourselves down and go again tomorrow,” said Kioussis.

“Leiston are tenth in the league and they’re one of those teams we feel we can match.

“We’ve had a fairly good run lately and we’re competing with everyone.

“Hopefully we can get another positive result to help us consolidate.”