PAUL Braithwaite rued an "opportunity lost'' as Gary Higdon's late goal sent Melksham Town through to the semi finals of the Wiltshire Senior Cup at the expense of his Royal Wootton Bassett Town side.

Higdon arrived at the far post to head home Ben Thomson's cross 10 minutes from time as the 2013-14 winners booked their place in the last four of this season's competition.

While the spoils may have headed back to west Wiltshire with the Toolstation Premier Division champions, Braithwaite reckons his side blew an ideal opportunity to spring a surprise.

"I'm very frustrated to be honest with you,'' he said.

"We were all expecting a little more of Melksham - people had told us that they are a big, strong side - but I didn't see any of that.

"We did lose an opportunity, if I'm honest. I didn't think they deserved the win and, if I were their manager, I reckon I'd think that they were lucky.''

Bassett were without top goalscorer Steve Robertson, who was suspended, but still gave visiting keeper Rob Brown plenty to think about in the opening half.

Steve Olphert fired straight at the Melksham keeper from 12 yards and Dan Bailey was just wide before the gloveman had to scramble efforts from Dale Richards away and stop Matt Cheetham's shot.

Mike Perrott and Joe Stradling had openings at the other end but, early in the second half, Bailey missed a gilt-edged chance for the hosts as he latched on to Harvey Scholes' through ball but dragged his shot across goal.

As the game entered the latter stages though, Higdon's header proved the difference.

Braithwaite added: "In the first half, we created a lot more but we were relatively happy at 0-0. But we had the best chance, with Dan Bailey, and if that had gone in I think it would have killed them.''