WITTON’S inability to defend set-pieces cost them dear as second-from-bottom Cammell Laird stole the points at a wind-swept and wet Wincham Park.
Heavy rain had saturated the pitch and made passing football almost an impossibility. But it was the Wirral visitors that adapted best to the conditions.
In the aftermath of Saturday’s 5-3 defeat at FC United of Manchester, boss Nigel Deeley had demanded a positive reaction from his players.
He will not have liked what he saw on a bleak Tuesday night in Wincham.
Witton keeper Greg Smith pulled off a brave point-blank save early on before saving again from Lairds striker Mike Reid on 14 minutes.
From the resulting corner, Albion could not clear their lines and a cross back into the penalty area was headed into his own goal by returning skipper Brian Pritchard.
The goal shocked Witton into action and having been restricted to long-range efforts, they finally pulled level with a sensational free kick from Mark Drew.
Lairds continued to look dangerous on the break but it was Albion who pulled ahead on 36 minutes when striker Zane Gouldbourne smashed home.
But the Wittoners’ joy was shortlived as Lairds immediately hit back as midfielder Chris Adamson rose highest to head in direct from a corner.
Albion frustrations threatened to boil over when striker Gouldbourne was booked for his part of an altercation with Lairds’ aggressive defender Lee Atherton.
After the break, Witton now playing into the face of a biting wind, the hosts found controlling possession difficult while Lairds again looked more threatening.
Albion hitman Lee Thompson, who scored two at FC United of Manchester on Saturday, was put clean through after a defensive blunder but a mixture of surface water and the strong wind halted his progress.
Smith had to be on his guard soon after when an Eddie Jebb cross looked goal bound and on 68 minutes Witton found themselves behind when a free kick from the right by impressive striker Luke Holden was headed home by Lairds midfielder Richard Foulkes.
Albion, now chasing the game, struggled to create any clear-cut chances although substitute Steve Smith was unlucky to see his shot cleared off the line late on.
The result leaves Witton in 16th place in the Unibond Premier with just three victories taken from their 11 games played so far.
Witton: Smith; Donnelly, Scott, Pritchard, Schwarz (Dunne); Thaker (McGaw), B Thornley, Drew, Skelton (Smith); Thompson, Gouldbourne.
Match rating: 3/5