WOOTTON Bassett boss Jeff Roberts admitted his players looked “sluggish” as they fell to a 2-0 away defeat at Oxford City Nomads.

Louis Joyce scored both goals for Nomads to end Bassett’s run of eight games without defeat, stretching back to November due to the flurry of recent postponements, while Lee Stevens was also sent off for the visitors.

Roberts admitted his players looked rusty at times but refused to use their lack of action for the disappointing Hellenic Premier defeat.

“The six-week lay-off since our last game really didn’t help us at all to be honest because we haven’t been able to play and training was hard to and I think that showed,” he said.

“Oxford have been able to train twice a week which helped them and we did look sluggish and were second to everything which really didn’t help us at all. Our passing and movement was sluggish and we were punished for some silly little errors.

“It was a bad display from most of our players to be honest and when that happens it’s hard to win.

“We had been on an eight-game unbeaten run but within 20 minutes we looked tired, although Oxford weren’t as good as the team we played earlier in the season.”

“What’s happened, happened and we need to start again now.”

With his players short of match fitness, Roberts is looking to use his side’s reserve team as a vehicle to get some minutes in his senior players’ legs.

“We train on astroturf which isn’t ideal really because when it gets wet it gets really slippy and that makes things hard,” he said.

“We need games really and we’re looking to use our reserve game this week to give some players some time to get minutes in. That’s important.

“Hopefully they can get 60 or 70 minutes in on Tuesday night and that can help them get some game fitness in because we looked a little jaded at times.”

Elsewhere in the division, Highworth’s game at Abingdon Town was postponed due to the fact the Oxfordshire side’s pitch is still partially submerged due to the flooding of the Thames.