SWINDON Supermarine manager Lee Spalding labelled his side’s 2-0 defeat away at Basingstoke Town as ‘the worst performance in months’ in Southern League Premier Division South as they continued a poor run of results which has seen them pick up only one win in their last seven games.

Spalding’s side got off to a slow start and were punished early on as Matt Williams gave away a penalty for handball that Basingstoke’s Ben Wright duly slotted away.

Matters became worse for Marine with 20 minutes to play as goalkeeper Martin Horsell was sent off for lashing out after a foul, causing Matt Liddiard to take over between the sticks for the remaining minutes.

Basingstoke duly took their chance to capitalise on the stand-in goalkeeper as Harry Pearse netted with five minutes to go.

On a day that Spalding said not a single player stood out for a positive reason, the Marine manager argued his side were lucky not to have been beaten by more in Hampshire.

He said: “It was a disappointing result on the back of a poor performance – the only positive was, in the first half, we kept it to only 1-0.

“We could have easily been 3-0 down at half-time. Basingstoke were the better side and the played most of the better football.

“We didn’t get to grips with the conditions or with ourselves, really. We didn’t perform anywhere near like we have done in our previous three games.

“We were miles off it in the second half. I expected a reaction and we didn’t really get it, to be honest."

Just a few weeks ago, an encouraging run of results, that began before Christmas, had rocketed Marine up the table and given the Webbswood Stadium outfit a slim chance at sneaking a play-off place.

But Spalding was left frustrated on Saturday as he said none of his players put in a performance that was expected of them.

He said: “Since the end of November, that was our worst performance.

“As a team, there wasn’t a single player that really stood out – it was just a really poor team performance and that was the most disappointing thing about it.

“At this level, if you’re all off it then you’re not going to win any games.

“We were slow again out of the blocks, we didn’t get the ball down and pass it well enough and struggled on the day to get anything going.

“Then having the keeper sent off was another added disappointment to the day.”