SLIMBRIDGE put in a good performance, but fell short against Melksham Town on a rare Monday night match-up.
The Swans made a good start, and Alex Hoyle went close with a header from a Brett James corner.
Dave Evans was called into action in the tenth minute, when he made a great double save after Nick Rideout’s cross had deflected off Jack Rutter towards his own goal.
At the other end, Callum Brown’s cross saw Hoyle put in a good header, forcing Tom Drewitt to make a good save.
Liam Harding went close with a header from James’ corner, which just cleared the bar.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Melksham took the lead. Leon Sterling’s clearance fell to Dan Kovacs, who drilled the ball past Evans from 15 yards.
Slimbridge nearly pulled themselves level just after the break when Brown made a great run down the left wing and tried his luck from 30 yards but Drewitt tipped the ball onto the crossbar.
Just before the hour mark, though, more poor defending from the Swans was to prove costly – Kovacs notching his and Melksham’s second after a goalmouth scramble.
Adam Mace had a good chance to reduce the deficit after Hoyle had sent him through one on one with the keeper, but he fired high and wide.
Four minutes later, though Mace was more successful, finishing off a great move after being played in by Harding.
With three minutes remaining, Ben Tunnicliff was penalised for a push on Rideout, and Kovacs netted the penalty to record his hat-trick and put the game to bed.
Willand Rovers visit Wisloe Road on Saturday (3pm).
Slimbridge: Evans, Rutter, Brown, Sterling, Tunnicliff, Twyman, James, Harding, Chandler (Turner 61), Hoyle, Fahy (Mace 60).
Goals: Mace 72.
Star man: Callum Brown.