BASILDON United's first Isthmian North campaign in 27 years came to an end with a 2-0 defeat against Witham Town.

Kevin Coyle and Sam Ashford, who netted in Concord Rangers' National League South win over St Albans City five days earlier, got the all-important goals as Witham avoided relegation on goal difference.

And Bees boss John Sussex, who took over at the Ho Ho Stadium after a spell as assistant manager of Witham, was keen to assure Romford - who suffered the drop - that his side gave their all.

Sussex said: "Fair play to Witham. They did well, worked really hard and got the victory they needed.

"I just want to assure Romford fans that we put out our strongest team and gave the best effort we could possibly give.

"We're just struggling a little bit at the moment. We don't have enough quality or concentration.

"We were perfectly comfortable for the first hour and then we conceded a goal.

"When we conceded the second goal, it was game over.

"We just didn't have the quality to get back into the game but we gave it our best efforts."

Basildon thought they had broken the deadlock shortly before the break, but the hosts were frustrated as the assistant referee flagged for offside.

Witham went in front nine minutes after the interval as Coyle's downward header found the bottom corner of the net, giving Bees goalkeeper Emmanuel Olajide no chance.

The visitors wrapped up the win soon after the hour mark as Basildon charged down Johnny Ashman only for the ball to fall to Ashford, who slotted home.