ROYAL Wootton Bassett coach Alan Low was most let down by his side’s performance on Saturday as they crashed to a third successive South West One East loss, this time away to league strugglers Witney.

Low’s troops were downed 31-17 in Oxfordshire as Witney registered only their fourth win of the season – which in turn bridged the gap between themselves and relegation threatened Swindon to eight points.

After losing just one of their 11 games, Bassett’s title hopes were severely hit when runaway league leaders Newbury recorded a 10-21 win at Malmesbury Road on December 1.

Losses to Old Centralians and Witney have since dropped Bassett to fifth in the table, and an unlikely fight to secure a top-two spot by the end of the season has been ignited.

“We’ve always talked about our performances rather than our results,” said Low.

“The disappointing element for me on Saturday (against Witney) was our performance.

“We were disappointed to lose against Newbury, but in that game we felt as though we performed well as a team.

“On Saturday at Witney, we felt we let ourselves down. The conditions were obviously poor, and our game management was not acceptable.

“We didn’t manage what we were doing well enough, we had enough of the ball to do something in the game.

“But we played rugby in the wrong areas, they played a very simple game and managed the game a lot better than we did.

“We set our standard at the start of the year, we know how we can play – and we didn’t execute that at the weekend.”

Low admits elements of complacency might be creeping into his side’s performances, particularly after their defeat last week against Old Centralians.

At the same time though, injuries have done little to help Low’s cause – who has been without the services of up to 12 senior players.

He said: “That injury list has crept up. We knew we had a tough run until the new year, we’re hoping to have a couple back before January.

“This two-week period off will really help us get some bodies back.”

Elsewhere in South West One East, Swindon’s grip on a survival spot was weakened after they lost at home to Newbury Blues.

Swindon College Old Boys were unable to sign off for Christmas with a win as they lost 10-0 at Devizes in Southern Counties South, while Supermarine were beaten 41-18 at Chippenham 2nd in Dorset & Wilts One North.