MAGPIES boss Steve Cuss has refused to throw in the towel despite watching his team’s slender play-off hopes being dealt another blow against Cirencester at Cuthbury.

Jody Bevan’s prodded finish proved the decisive factor in sinking the sorry Magpies, who have now lost six out of their past seven league games.

But defiant Cuss has not given up on the Magpies claiming a top-five berth.

“As long as there are enough points to play for we are determined to give it a go,” Cuss told the Daily Echo.

“It’s going to take an absolute marathon run to get into the top five but we are never just going to throw in the towel.

“I saw a lot from my players today and I’m confident we can turn this slump around and start picking up points again.”

Bevan sealed the victory for the high-flying visitors just three minutes after coming off the bench as a second-half substitute.

He found space inside the area to nudge home a scruffy effort which nearly got stuck in the mud as it dribbled past Magpies goalkeeper Jason Harvell.

Cuss added: “It was a soft goal. He (Bevan) didn’t really hit it well and it went through the legs of our defender, while Jason was unsighted. I didn’t think they deserved it at the time.

“We didn’t make any clear-cut chances but, in the last 25 minutes, we certainly had enough of the ball and got it into their box enough to put them under a bit of pressure.”

A Mark Gamble free-kick and Ian Oliver’s early strike, that whistled past the post, were notable highlights for the home side but Cuss’s men lacked a cutting edge to test the abilities of visiting goalkeeper Glyn Garner.

The defeat has left Wimborne 12 points adrift of the play-off spots in the Southern League South and West standings.

It was also their eighth single-goal deficit in the division this term.

“We have to learn how to win the tight games 1-0 and we haven’t done enough of that this year,” admitted Cuss.

“We’ve lost by the odd goal on too many occasions. These are the type of games that show why they (Cirencester) are at the top of the league and we are mid-table.”

With four players leaving the club over the past two weeks, Cuss is determined to capture the signature of midfielder Scott Costello from Bournemouth Poppies, as reported in Friday’s Daily Echo.

“He is a player I like, so hopefully, we can sort something out because we are a bit thin on the ground player-wise,” added Cuss. “It showed today that we need to add a couple of players to see us through the busy period of games.”

Cuss’s threadbare squad was further hampered by James Stokoe limping off during yesterday’s game with an ankle problem.

Wimborne entertain fourth-placed Yate on Tuesday.

Magpies: Harvell, Arnold, Oliver, Maybury, A Costello, Blake, Webb, Kemble, Stokoe (Burton-Hemmings, 80), Gamble, Griffin. Unused subs: Phillipson-Masters, Grose, Roast.

  • Poole Town’s Southern League Premier Division visit to Redditch and Bashley’s home game against Cambridge were both postponed due to waterlogged pitches.
  •  Only two matches were played in the Wessex League, with Downton losing 3-2 at home to Fawley and leaders Andover Town toppling Amesbury 4-0 in Division One.