WORCESTER City’s FA Cup disaster turned into a nightmare as the players needed taxis to get home after a four-hour wait when the team bus broke down.

Already faced with a 150-mile journey following the dismal 2-1 second qualifying round defeat at Godalming Town on Saturday, their coach overheated near to Heathrow Airport and burst a water hose.

Unable to fix the problem, the team and manager Carl Heeley were forced to wait for four hours on the hard shoulder of the M25 while Clerkenleap coach firm Astons tried to find another vehicle.

When that search failed, the St George’s Lane club ordered five seven-seater taxis to bring the players back at a cost of £700, although it is hoped Astons will pick up the tab.

To add insult to injury, a Highways Agency truck, which had shown up to ensure City’s safety, then reversed into one of the taxis, smashing the side and almost sending it into oncoming traffic. Nobody was in the vehicle at the time.

Heeley eventually got home at 1am yesterday morning, although it would have been considerably later for some players as they live north of Worcester.

“It’s fair to say it was probably one of the worst days I have had,” the Worcester boss said.

“It just seemed to go from bad to worse. A lot of people will say we deserved what we got (after the cup defeat) but it was an absolute nightmare.

“We stopped to get some food and got on the M25 at 7.15pm. The coach then overheated and a water hose burst. The driver found a garage but they didn’t have a spare hose.

“Astons were ringing round for three or four hours trying to get another coach to bring us home and couldn’t find one. They did everything they could to help us.

“It was then after 11pm and we decided to order taxis to take us back to Worcester, Bromsgrove and Warwick.”

He added: “It’s unfortunate but when the coach breaks down you think that puts the icing on the cake.

“When the Highways Agency reversed into the taxi, everybody was standing there in disbelief.”

It all adds up to an episode Heeley would rather forget but, having called his players’ commitment into question at Godalming, the boss could now have some decisions to make on their futures.

He said: “We’ll let the dust settle, think about it and see where we go. I’m trying my very best to improve things and take the club forward.

“I need a squad of players where every single one of them is committed to the cause. But I didn’t get that in this match.”