SLIMBRIDGE assistant manager Alex Lumsden blasted the referee for a raft of ‘sloppy decisions’ as his side slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Highworth Town.

Lumsden felt Highworth’s second-half penalty was ‘dubious’.

He said: “Brilliant today, but not clinical enough. Wouldn’t normally blame a referee but today was horrific, some sloppy decisions - the worst awarding a very weak and dubious penalty against the run of play. We’ll dust ourselves down for a tough test against Melksham.”

Earlier, Joel White returned to the side that defeated Evesham United on New Year’s Day with Myron Turner rested on the bench. Club captain Dean Turner passed a late fitness to also take a place on the bench.

Highworth gained a free-kick in the first minute when the ball struck Will Peck’s arm just outside the box. Sean Wood fired his effort over the bar. A few minutes later Ashley Edenborough shot fell wide before Ryan Beckinsale tried his luck from long-range, but his effort also fell wide.

Sol Wanjau-Smith caused the home side some problems early in the game with his pace fired straight at Connor Johns in the Highworth goal. On 23 minutes a long free-kick for the Swans was touched on by Christien Turner to Wanjau-Smith who managed to launch the ball over the bar from 10 yards out.

Five-minutes later Wanjau-Smith struck a 25-yard effort from the left, but Johns was positioned well to make the save. Dion Chambers then had a couple of half chances both going wide of the goal as the Swans took control of the game.

Wanjau-Smith then made the move of the game. Five minutes before the end of the first half, picking up the ball on the left wing, and cutting in before firing his shot across goal, but the ball came back off the inside of the far post.

The visitors had a scare on 51 minutes, Leon Morrison got on the end of a Highworth corner however Beckinsale was well placed to hook the ball off the line. The home side were awarded a soft penalty on 58 minutes when Edenborough went down under Turners challenge, it was Edenborough who stepped up and sent Lewis Adams the wrong way to give Highworth the lead against the run of play.

Beckinsale fired an effort over the bar with seven minutes remaining, but it was the home side that struck again as Slimbridge committed bodies forward with a couple of minutes of normal time remaining.

Substitute Callum Parsons picked up the ball on the right and cut into the box firing past Adams.

Next up for the Swans is a home encounter against Melksham Town at Thornhill Park on Saturday at 3pm.

Slimbridge: Adams, Nesbeth (Martin 82), Peck, Ford, White, C Turner, Horrell (M Turner 66), Chambers (Price 70), Sarson, Beckinsale, Wajau-Smith

Subs not used: Spruce, D Turner

Supporters’ man-of-the-match: Mike Ford