Another catastrophic defensive performance sent Welwyn Garden City spiralling out of the FA Trophy at the first attempt.

The 5-3 first qualifying round loss at the Pexhurst Stadium means the Citizens have now conceded 18 across the five games in the Southern League Division One Central and FA Trophy.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Welwyn Garden City manager Marc Weatherstone says defensive reinforcements will be heading to Herns Lane. Picture: TGS PHOTOWelwyn Garden City manager Marc Weatherstone says defensive reinforcements will be heading to Herns Lane. Picture: TGS PHOTO (Image: TGS Photo)

In total they have shipped 21 in seven competitive outings and the time for change is here according to their heavily disgruntled manager, Marc Weatherstone.

He said: "It’s a result that tells its own story. We scored three at home in a cup tie and still lost heavily.

"Our defence was a shambles and this can’t and won’t go on.

"There will be defensive reinforcements at this club very soon."

While the eight-goal contest at Herns Lane would have thrilled the neutral in the paltry 95-strong crowd, the WGC faithful are as unhappy as their boss.

Key to the Basildon victory was the performance of their clever and quick winger Clyde Semazzi, who gave Alex Harris a torrid afternoon.

He set up three of his side’s goals and scored one himself although defensive mistakes were responsible for three of the Basildon five.

It could have been more but for keeper Charlie Crowley making a string of fine blocks.

Basildon’s Kai Brown, who ended up scoring a hat-trick, could have put the Isthmian League side ahead in the opening minute, Harris making a brave block at the expense of a corner.

Two minutes later it was Crowley's turn to make a save, foiling Callum Burkey, and then on 11 minutes, Ryan Kirwan, re-signed in midweek from Hanwell Town, got in a tremendous tackle to halt Brown again.

It took WGC around 20 minutes to muster a shot, James Kaloczi striking it straight at Basildon keeper George Marsh.

They should have scored moments later but Brad Wadkins allowed Marsh to save after going through alone.

But despite the frailties at the back, scoring goals has not been a problem for Welwyn, with 14 now in those seven games.

And they opened up the scoring with a free-kick floated in by Ethan Kessel for Wadkins to turn home.

They needed a second but instead found themselves level nine minutes later, Semazzi going past Harris for the umpteenth time and the defender grabbing his arm in frustration to give away a penalty, converted by Brown.

And Basildon had a deserved lead at the interval when Kaloczi missed a vital tackle in his own area and Brown shot through the gap.

Crowley was the busier keeper in the second-half’s early stages as well but after thwarting Semazzi, the winger waltzed through to make it 3-1 on the hour.

A remarkable 66th minute goal out of the blue pulled WGC back into the tie.

Kaloczi, fully 50 yards out on the left side near half-way, struck a tremendous effort after spotting keeper Marsh out of his goal, lofting over him and in to reduce the lead to one again.

Ryan Doherty came on for the last 25 minutes before he heads off to live and work in Ireland for the next 12 months.

But the game was up at last when a woefully under-hit back pass by Yasin Boodhoo with 17 minutes to go gave Crowley no chance, Brown squaring for Ben Allen to tap home.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men when full-back Jamie Bennett was red carded for a high challenge on Kirwan but it seemed to scarcely matter as Semazzi, yet again, cut through down the left and lofted a cross for Brown to head in his hat-trick goal, four minutes from time.

Welwyn did have the last say in stoppage time, Wadkins heading home a Boodhoo cross for his second.

Welwyn though now have a few weeks off to get things right, with their next match league match not until Tuesday, September 26, at home to AFC Dunstable.

WGC: Crowley, Harris, Steele, Boodhoo, Kirwan, Mulley (Doherty 73), Kaloczi, Kessel (F.Brown 42), Jones (Stevenson 60), Wadkins, Wynter.

Subs (not used): Green, Pollock, Weatherstone.