Things then got worse for the Robins boss when his side's game with Thatcham Town was abandoned on Tuesday night due to floodlight failure - with Bracknell 1-0 up at the time.

The Robins welcomed Headington Amateurs from the Hellenic Division One East to Larges Lane on the back of a 4-2 defeat at Oxford City Nomads last Wednesday.

Carpenter would’ve hoped that his side could make a statement with a comfortable win but their chances were hampered by having to field a severely depleted side.

Bracknell had a squad of just 12 available for the game, with 47-year-old assistant manager Keith Pennicott-Bowen filling in at centre-back for the Robins.

And after seeing his side slip to a 3-2 defeat in extra-time, Carpenter admits it’s frustrating to have to constantly field a weakened side.

“It was a day not to dwell on,” he said. “The only silver lining is that it didn’t happen in a league game I guess.

“It’s been a nightmare recently for us. Every week there seems to be a couple of injuries, we’ve got long-term injuries, players away, it’s just one thing after another.

“I’m not one for excuses but when you’re having to play a 47-year-old at centre-back and other players out of position then it’s going to affect results.

“We’re currently working on signing a couple of players for cover and hopefully that’ll get sorted but we’re struggling at the moment.

“It’s just frustrating as you also don’t want to leave the Reserves short, but they had 12 as well on Saturday.

“I can’t fault the effort of my players as they battled well and did themselves proud on a difficult afternoon.” Carpenter’s frustration was evident on Saturday as he was sent to the stands at half-time, with the Robins trailing 1-0. “The referee just wasn’t good enough,” he fumed. “Some of his decisions were baffling and I told him that at half-time.

“He then decided to send me off once I’d made the walk across the pitch to the dugout which was a bit embarrassing.

“I stepped up from the reserves to the first-team and you expect the refereeing to be better but it wasn’t.

“You don’t expect them to get every decision right but some of them were baffling and it ruins the game for both sides.” On a difficult day at Larges Lane, the visitors took the lead in the 17th minute when Tom Payne finished well after a swift attacking move.

Bracknell were struggling to create chances and went in behind at half-time, with options from the bench limited for Carpenter.

But the Robins got back on level terms in the 49th minute when Shane Cooper-Clark crossed for Jake White to fire home and suddenly the home side were in the ascendancy.

It took just six minutes for another goal to arrive when Cooper-Clark grabbed a goal of his own after being played through on goal by Ryan Coupland.

The game seemed to be heading to an end with a victory for the hosts, but there was a sting in the tail in added time.

Headington won a free-kick on the edge of the box and Ollie Zaja’s effort deflected in to force extra-time.

With the Robins struggling for fitness and no substitutes available, they were put under pressure by the visitors, who sensed an upset.

The inevitable winning goal game midway through the period when Jamie McCuaig fired home to knock Bracknell out of the competition at the first time of asking.

Frustration grew for Bracknell on Tuesday night as floodlight failure meant their game with Thatcham Town was abandoned at Waterside Park.

The Robins were leading 1-0 at the time through the prolific Cooper-Clark who had pounced on a backpass that fell short by Paul Taplin.

The first stoppage came in the 13th minute, with a 22-minute delay as the teams stood in darkness.

Eventually, the game got back underway and Cooper-Clark put Ed Carpenter’s men ahead in the 25th minute. But just five minutes later the floodlights went again and the referee immediately abandoned the match.

It was bitterly disappointing for the Robins, who looked good value for their lead and capable of adding to it.

Carpenter’s men travel to Malmesbury Victoria in the FA Vase this Saturday (3pm).