ROYAL Wootton Bassett coach Alan Low felt 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 at Witney registered only their fourth win of the season.

After losing just one of their opening 11 games, Bassett’s title hopes were severely hit when runaway league leaders Newbury recorded a 21-10 at Ballards Ash 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 now been ignited.

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

“The disappointing element for me on Saturday was our performance.

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

“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. Witney played a simple game and managed the game better than we did.

“We set our standard at the start of the season. We know we can play – and we didn’t execute 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 as Bassett have 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 up until the new year, we’re hoping to have a couple of boys back before January.

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

Elsewhere, Marlborough surrendered second in the table after a 32-17 defeat away at county rivals Trowbridge.

Finally, Chippenham saw their trip to Wimborne postponed because of the wet weather, with the contest rescheduled for this Saturday.