WESTBURY United manager Neil Kirkpatrick said his side ‘thoroughly deserved’ to get back to winning ways against Wellington at the weekend following a 3-1 home victory.

The West Wiltshire side had failed to secure three points in their previous seven league outings and as a result had dropped down to 12th in the Western League Premier Division table.

Kirkpatrick’s men won for the first time since November 6 against the division strugglers following two penalties from Callum Demkiv and a late breakaway goal from Joe Stradling.

After narrow losses to the two top teams in the division – Bradford Town and Plymouth Parkway – Kirkpatrick paid tribute to the endeavour of his players for continuing to play at a high level and eventually being given their just desserts.

“Even though we lost a couple of times around Christmas, I’ve been really pleased with the performance levels,” said Kirkpatrick.

“We’ve been on a bit of a losing run, but every game has been close and it’s been fine margins.

“On Saturday, two of our defenders that played against Plymouth Parkway both got flu and didn’t travel to Wellington.

“By half-time, we had a completely different back four to the one that played against Parkway.

“It’s been a testing period, but all of the lads have put everything into each game and they thoroughly deserved to get back to winning ways against Wellington.”

Last season’s fifth place team were always likely to struggle to meet those same standards after spending much of the 2018-19 season among the top two of the Premier Division.

Even still, Kirkpatrick believes the division has become much more difficult.

And with the loss of several key players to deal with, the Westbury boss is proud of his remaining squad’s endeavour in the first half of the campaign.

But with 19 games to go still, Kirkpatrick is eyeing a positive run of form that will see his side propel themselves back up towards the upper echelons of the division.

He said: “If the players put in the application they have been doing and continue doing their jobs properly – which they have been doing – then I’m confident we can beat anyone in this league.

“Equally, if you’re not on it, then you can lose to anybody.

“All the years I’ve been going down to Wellington, it’s never been an easy game and that was the same on Saturday.

“Hopefully we can get back on a winning run now and start moving up the table a little bit.

“I’m confident that we can have a really positive second half of the season.”

Elsewhere, league leaders Bradford Town beat bottom side Odd Down 4-0 thanks to two goals from Gary Higdon, one from Charlie Walton and a fine individual effort from Kieran Baggs.