FC CLACTON manager Tom Austin wants his players to “knuckle down” and focus on league points.

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Seasiders with FA Cup, FA Vase, Essex Senior Cup and Tolleshunt D’Arcy fixtures.

But amid their hectic schedule, they have only played five Thurlow Nunn League matches – one of the lowest tallies in the premier division. Only one of their last six games has been in the league.

Now Austin is ready to concentrate on the league, with a trip to Hadleigh United looming on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

They head into the match on the back of a 2-1 defeat at Stanway Rovers on Tuesday, in the first round of the Essex Senior Cup.

“Now it's time to knuckle down and concentrate on the league,” said Austin.

"We've got to react positively. What's the point in being disheartened?

“We've got to get our heads up and go again because the league is our priority.

"Let's focus on getting as many points on the board as possible.”

Clacton and Stanway had originally met last Tuesday, only for the tie to be abandoned after ten minutes due to a floodlight failure.

Seven days on and it was the in-form hosts who progressed thanks to a goal in either half from Marley Andrews and Jack Baker.

The Seasiders were thrown a late lifeline after being awarded a stoppage-time penalty.

Jake Clowsley coolly slotted home from the spot but it proved only a consolation.

"We didn't give the best account of ourselves and expect better,” said Austin.

"We weren't good enough in the first half. We were okay in the second but still didn't create enough in the final third.

"Stanway wanted it more than us early on and we conceded a sloppy goal from a 40-yard pass, slotted away by Marley Andrews.

"Could we have stopped the second one, too? Yes, for me.

"Our concentration levels need to be better but I'm not going to dig my lads out because it's a team game and not about individuals.

"That said, Stanway showed more desire than us and we need to find those same levels.

"We have to turn up every week with the same attitude and determination to win.

"Stanway didn't outplay us. They just had two moments of quality for their goals but I'm confident we won't be far behind them at the end of the season.”

Clacton were in FA Vase action at home to Redbridge on Saturday.

They advanced thanks to a 4-1 victory at the Austin Arena.

Callum Griffith scored their opener in first-half stoppage time.

Clowsley then gave the hosts breathing space with a second three minutes after the break.

Redbridge pulled one back but Jordan Lartey grabbed a third for the Seasiders.

Harry McDonald capped an excellent afternoon by adding the fourth in stoppage time.

Clacton now travel to Buckinghamshire side Risborough Rangers in the first-round proper on October 12.

Rangers are top of uhlsport Hellenic League division one east with six wins from seven and their home ground is The B.E.P Stadium, in Horsenden Lane.

Reflecting on last weekend, Austin said: “We were very poor early on and they came out the blocks and hit the woodwork twice in the first 20 to 25 minutes.

"But we completely dominated the second half and it was one of those games that could have finished 8-4.”

Looking ahead to Risborough, Austin added: “I would have liked to watch them play but it's going to be hard to fit that in before October 12.

"We're stepping into the unknown but we know it's going to be a very tough game.

"They're top of their league. They'll be confident and we'll have to be at our best from the start.

"I'd absolutely love a Vase run.

"Some of the younger players probably don't fully appreciate what it would do for the club and our fans."