WITHAM Town were comprehensively defeated 4-0 by Basildon United in a disappointing performance by the visitors, writes JIM PURTILL.

Two goals in each half secured the points for the hosts, who showed quality in both penalty areas in the Pitching In Isthmian League division north clash.

Witham fell behind in the 15th minute when Clyde Semazzi headed in from close range, from a free-kick.

For the first half hour, Witham had done little to unsettle the well-drilled home defence in which Kye Jude performed admirably.

As half-time approached the tempo of the match increased and Town found a way to attack with conviction for the first time.

Osude's good cross forced a corner and Andrew Sesay headed wide in a move instigated by Freddie King.

And in Witham’s best spell of the match, Sesay's fine header was well saved by Basildon goalkeeper George Marsh.

The visitors looked capable of equalising but they were hit with a sucker punch when Basildon scored on the break in the 45th minute.

Ali showed persistence to beat Harry McKie with a shot at the second attempt, after he had linked up with Semazzi.

It was against the run of play in the previous 15 minutes but Basildon had shown a cutting edge that Witham's attack lacked.

If the late first half rally gave Witham hope, it was extinguished by a third Basildon goal five minutes after the restart.

Following a foul by Freddie King just outside the Witham penalty area, Fitzer curled the subsequent free-kick into the top left-hand corner of the net, giving McKie no chance.

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With little to lose, Witham pushed forward and Josh Osude became more influential.

But his contribution ended after 66 minutes when he was sent off for simulation in the Basildon penalty area, having been booked in the first half for a reckless lunge.

Any fading Witham hopes of a recovery had vanished by this time.

Substitute Arnold Mengi did well for the visitors but their attacks were slapdash and lacked control.

Ali and Callum Fitzer were thorns in the side of Witham’s rearguard and they combined again when Samir Ali scored Basildon’s fourth goal in the 74th minute.

It was a surprisingly flat performance from Witham.

They will take heart from the knowledge that the squad has shown the quality and resilience this season to recover from disappointing results.

Imminent league matches against Ipswich Wanderers, New Salamis and Enfield offer opportunities for league points.