BOSS Paul Collicutt was left to rue the disparity between Evesham United's performances either side of the break at Winchester City.

The Robins succumbed to a 2-0 defeat in Hampshire with City substitutes Rob Carr and IK Hill on the score sheet on Saturday.

Paul Fahy had an effort saved and Lewis Powell was narrowly off target with a free-kick as Evesham made the early running.

All Winchester had to show for their attacking efforts in the first half was Andy Jenkinson's routine shot which drew a routine save from Kevin Sawyer.

Home keeper Ryan Pryce produced a full-stretch save from Fahy early in the second half but City got their breakthrough 63 minutes in when substitute Carr's inswinging free-kick eluded everyone and bounced past Sawyer

And with 10 minutes to go, Sawyer could only push Carr’s shot into the path of fellow substitute Hill whose looping effort found the net to confirm the destiny of the points.

“We looked pretty strong for the first 45 minutes and were the better side," said Collicutt. "The worst thing that happened to us was half-time. Having had most of the play and set our standards we didn’t continue in the same way.

“The two goals could have been avoided. Their lad knocked in the first from a free-kick, anybody and everybody missed it. We didn’t defend so it bounced in the six-yard box and into the bottom corner.

“It was a poor goal. Their lad didn’t mean to score and it was weak. They got their other one late on and it was disappointing having put in a strong first-half performance."

A run of two wins in 10 Southern League West matches has pushed Evesham away from the play-off places but they remain within touching distance going into Sunday's home clash with Swindon Supermarine (3pm) and Collicutt remains optimistic over a double boost in the meantime.

"We are hopeful Adam Mann can get back to full training having missed the past few games," said Collicutt.

“Carl Brown has been in and out with a persistent injury and required some rest but again, we hope to have him back on board too.

“Both lads bring goals and we haven’t been scoring a great deal of late with opportunities coming and going,

“We didn’t create a great deal on Saturday so we have to look at it and think about how to go about things on Sunday.

“Swindon have a good footballing side, they tend to play the right way and it is usually entertaining when we go up against them.

“We know we will have our work cut out, they will get it down and play but that is something that will encourage us as well.

“We are playing a team in the top six and on the back of dropping down the table a little. We have gone from being in those play-off places closer to mid-table and teams around us have games in hand.

"Now is the time to rally the troops, people need to get behind one another in order to push on.

“There is still a lot of football to be played and we have faced most of the top sides now. As disappointed as I was to lose at Winchester, it was only our second defeat on the road."

Robins: Sawyer, Dovey, Bennett, Turley, Rhodes, Liddiard, Bryan, Hancock, Powell, Francis, Fahy. Subs: Binns, Haskayne, Campbell, Odiero, Gray.

Attendance: 171.