LEE Spalding was served a strong reminder with regards to the gap in quality that separates steps two and three of the non-league pyramid, after Swindon Supermarine were dumped out of the FA Cup by Bath City.

Bath struck four times at the Webbswood Stadium as goals for Ryan Brunt, Tom Smith, Andy Watkins and Matt Bower complimented the visitors’ domination both in and out of possession.

Marine boss Spalding accepted before kick-off that it would take an extreme off day for Bath for the home side to stand any chance of progressing to the next qualifying round.

But that didn’t prove to be the case – and Spalding felt a number of his players left something out on the pitch after the full time whistle sounded.

He said: “We knew going into the game that we wouldn’t get anything out of it if we weren’t at our best.

“That was our message to the players, and we had too many lads on the day that weren’t at their best – hence why we got comprehensively beat.

“Bath are a good side, and credit to them. They were well organised and had very good individual players.

“They were excellent on the day and certainly showed why they play in the league above.

“It shows how far we’ve got to go to bridge that gap. But we’ve got to remain positive.

“It was one of those days – we needed them to have an off day and for us to be unbelievably good for something to happen.”

Ahead of Saturday’s South Premier Division trip to Dorchester, Spalding will certainly be calling on his players to improve their efficiency with the ball.

The Marine manager felt his men gifted Bath possession cheaply too often – and they were punished as a direct result.

Spalding added: “We weren’t good enough in possession, and Bath kept the ball for long periods of time when they were in possession.

“We gave the ball back to them very quickly, and Bath punished us.

“Bath had long sustained spells or possession and pressure, and they made that count.”