ROYAL Wootton Bassett Town manager Sam Collier insisted his side’s 5-1 defeat to Virginia Water did not reflect the true pattern of the game as the club’s three-game winning run ended abruptly on Saturday.

Bassett did not enjoy a great start to proceedings in Surrey and were 2-0 down at the break before some encouraging words from Collier and his assistant Matt Bulman pushed the visitors on to halve the deficit through Landon Golding.

However, after the referee failed to award Bassett what they felt was a clear penalty, Water scored twice in a matter of minutes to put the game beyond doubt before adding a fifth goal late on.

Following the result that saw his team remain in 16th place in the Hellenic League Premier Division, Collier said: “We didn’t start that well, but they’re quite a direct, powerful side and we went there with a lot of youngsters.

“They got themselves in front and then they scored again just before half-time.

“We had a few words at half-time and then we’ve battered them for 20 minutes.

“We scored, but then we should have had a penalty to make it 2-2 but the referee hasn’t given it.

“We’ve pushed bodies forward at 2-1 and they’ve picked us off and scored twice in a few minutes.

“It says 5-1, but it wasn’t a 5-1 game. Nonetheless, we’re still disappointed because they were better than us in both boxes.”

Prior to the heavy defeat, Bassett had been on one of their best runs of form of the season – something Collier put down to the consistency in selection.

And with several debutantes in the matchday squad against Water, the Bassett chief admitted a lack of experience may have played a part in the result.

Collier said: “We had won three on the bounce before and we’d been able to put the same team out in all three.

“On Saturday, we had to make four or five changes due to injuries, suspensions and wives giving birth.

“We had three debuts and two new lads on the bench. There were four lads 17 or younger, but you always know what you’re going to get with them.

“They will give everything, and they want do well, but they came up against two massive centre halves.

“They didn’t look out of place certainly, but I think the lack of experience hurt us a little bit.”

Elsewhere, Fairford Town went out of the Gloucestershire Challenge Trophy on penalties after their tie with Wick ended 2-2.

Jody Bevan’s side – without the recently departed Ben Lodge – lost the penalty shootout 4-3.

Meanwhile, Shrivenham’s game at home to Windsor was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.