HIGHWORTH Town manager Jeff Roberts said his side were made to pay for a couple of defensive lapses as they fell to a 3-0 defeat away at Southern League Division One South league leaders Blackfield & Langley.

The Worthians found themselves 2-0 down prior to half-time as the home team took both opportunities they were presented with by Roberts’ young side.

A change of shape for Highworth gave them more of the ball in the second half as they continued to create chances, but the Watersiders found a third right at the end as Town searched for a consolation goal.

Roberts was pleased with the number of chances his side created, but was left wondering what might have been as defensive errors and missed opportunities cost his players a chance to take anything from the game.

He said: “In the first half, I thought we played some good football. They had some good opportunities, but we just made two silly mistakes that have cost us in the game.

“We had to gamble a bit in the second half, so we took a couple of players off at half-time, went three at the back to try and get back in the game.

"When you do that, there is always a risk that you’re going to get caught as you do leave yourself a bit more open at the back.

“We had a great opportunity straight after half-time where Chris Allen whipped in a free-kick. If Leon Morrison had connected with it properly, then we would have been back in the game.

“Today, it was just one of those where Blackfield were very clinical, and we weren’t.”

Highworth had won four games on the spin before Saturday’s defeat as an encouraging January had lifted them up to within four points of the play-offs.

With teams just around them to play in the next two weeks – in Bideford and Winchester City – Highworth boss Roberts is hopeful they can learn from the loss and get back to positive performances quickly.

He said: “We have to move on. We had a good run and we now need to forget it and move on to next week.

“We need to get out of this habit where we go on a run of five games where we do well and then have a bad patch and then have a good patch again.

“There’s a reason why Blackfield are top. They were very direct, they got it out to their wingers and crossed it from there and took their chances.

“Today wasn’t our day and we just have to learn from it and move on.”