Wealdstone boss David Noble conceded his side’s performance in a 3-0 defeat at Rochdale on Tuesday wasn’t up to scratch - suggesting his players were blown away by the intensity of the contest.

A 20-minute first-half flurry of strikes from defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell and a double from Cian Hayes just before the break saw the home side race away from Noble’s men without reply.

“It’s a long trip. We don’t want to make excuses, but I don’t think we started the worst,” said a clearly disappointed Noble.

“I think we settled well in the first 10 or 15 minutes, but then we sort of got blown away in 15 or 20 minutes.

“It was difficult, but we’ve got to do the basics better. We weren’t staying with runners. We weren’t winning the first ball in the box, and we got punished.”

When asked about the intensity of the match, Noble admitted his players may have run out of steam by half-time due to the nature of the game.

“It’s a difficult scoreline in that moment - 3-0 at half-time, he game’s virtually done,” he added.

“We’ve come, and it’s 0-0 in the second half, but they’re 3-0 up - the game’s won.

Noble was also questioned about his decision to replace captain Jack Cook and Aaron Henry at half-time, and it seemed he needed to do something in order to soften the blow on his players.

“It was difficult. There could have been three or four changes there," he said.

"We wanted to get some fresh legs on and we’ve got to start digging in. We’ve got to be more difficult to play against, first and foremost.”

The encouraging signs for Noble and his coaching staff were that Rochdale didn’t manage to add to their tally in the second half.

But despite an improved performance in the second period, Noble was keen to point out the game was already over by that point.

“There’s still a fight there. There has to be, or without fighting, you’re struggling,” he said.

On Rochdale sitting back in the second half and soaking up Wealdstone pressure, the Stones’ boss simply replied: “They’re 3-0 up.”

Another damaging defeat on the road leaves Noble’s players in 18th place and without a win in six in the National League.

But a trip to fellow strugglers York City on Saturday may offer some respite after a tricky run against some of the league’s better sides.