AVELEY were unable to pick up a second consecutive Isthmian North win as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at Witham Town.

The hosts scored a late winner to see off James Webster's side, who will now turn their attentions to the Parkside derby against Grays Athletic on Boxing Day.

The Millers made a decent start to the match, with Russell Malton seeing a shot blocked and Jordan Watson causing the home defence problems.

But Witham grew into the game and tested goalkeeper Rhys Madden on numerous occasions before the break.

Aveley passed up a good opportunity to take the lead five minutes before half-time.

Watson was denied after being found by Daniel Dafter and Freddie Gard went for power on the rebound. However, Witham goalkeeper Bobby Mason - formerly of Thurrock - was equal to the effort.

George Woodward tested Mason just before the hour mark, while Witham nearly broke the deadlock on 68 minutes.

Pat Ahern headed goalwards, but Malton cleared the effort off the goal-line.

But Witham were to score the only goal of the game eight minutes from time as substitute and ex-Miller Shamido Pedulu kept his cool to slot past Madden.

As a result, Aveley remain 20th in the Isthmian North standings.

Aveley: Madden, Malton, Woodward, Witherspoon (Bradford 31'), Keizer-Burrows, Dafter, F. Gard (West 87'), Doyle, Watson, Rees, Marah (L. Gard 71')