WESTBURY United joint-manager Neil Kirkpatrick says his side’s 3-1 defeat at Cribbs in Toolstation League Premier Division was not helped by the fact his squad is “down to the bare bones”, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

With captain Stephen Hulbert, Jamie Jordan, Dan Price, Jake Hiscocks and Will Stead all missing through injury, United travelled up to Bristol looking to avoid a third defeat in five games.

Kirkpatrick’s side made a shaky start as Cribbs hit the post early on before an unfortunate deflection allowed the home side to tap in with less than 20 minutes on the clock.

Josh Ferguson equalised for Westbury prior to the interval, however, United tired in the second half and were eventually blown away by two further goals.

Kirkpatrick was proud of his side’s attitude throughout and said their commitment to the cause showed how close they are as a group.

He said: “Callum Demkiv and Dan Kovacs shouldn’t have been playing as they both had injuries, but they played through it because we were down to the bare bones.”

While they are almost certainly assured of a top-five finish, Westbury are enduring their worst run of form for well over a year.

Kirkpatrick is keen for his side to not let the rest of the season pass them by without putting up some resistance and wants to quickly stop the bleeding amid the current barren run.

Kirkpatrick said: “There’s only one way that we’re going to get through this, and that’s by doing the right things and working hard.

“It was a little bit disappointing to lose, but we know where we are. You’ve got to look at it over the bigger picture really.

“We’ve still got a lot to play for and we can still have a big say in the title race.”

Elsewhere, Bradford Town followed up their dominant 4-1 victory away at Brislington by succumbing by the same scoreline when they travelled to Buckland Athletic on Saturday.

Will Hailstone netted for the Bobcats.