EVESHAM United’s faltering Southern League West play-off challenge took another hit on Saturday when the Robins slid to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at high-flying Winchester City.
Whilst it was always likely to be a tough test against their hosts, who sit third in the table, it was all the same a frustrating afternoon for boss Paul Collicutt and his players as they failed to build on a promising first half performance in Hampshire.
Evesham have dropped to tenth after just two league wins in their last ten attempts but United are just three points behind Bideford in the final play-off berth, albeit having played three games more.
They will bid to bounce back when they host sixth placed Swindon Supermarine on Sunday (3pm).
The damage was done in the second half on Saturday when substitutes Rob Carr and IK Hill grabbed the goals for the home side.
Winger Carr broke the deadlock on 63 minutes with a free kick which eluded everyone on its way in and Carr was also instrumental in the second goal as goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer was unable to hold his shot, allowing Hill to bury the loose ball.
However, there were some positives for Collicutt to take as Paul Fahy and Lewis Powell went close in the first half before Fahy was denied by a superb save shortly into the second period.
Collicutt remained upbeat after just a second league defeat on the road and revealed striker Adam Mann is on the verge of returning to full training and midfielder Carl Brown is also close to a return from injury.
However, defender Matt Williams has made the move to higher ranked Hungerford Town.
In his second spell with the Robins, Williams made 23 appearances this season and scored three goals, but will now be plying his trade two divisions higher.
Collicutt said: “It is difficult to stand in the way when a player has the chance to play at a higher level.”