Loxwood manager Mark Beard labelled their performance in a late defeat to a ten-man Pagham as one to forget.
The Lions pinched all three points with an 89th-minute goal from Terrell Lewis despite playing the whole of the second half with a man less after Neil Murfin’s straight red card.
It got new Pagham boss Mark Bennett’s reign at the club off to a winning start, but Beard was less than impressed with his side’s showing - although did feel a draw would have been a fair result.
Ollie Moore netted from the penalty spot for The Magpies just before half-time to level up Scott Murfin’s opener four minutes earlier.
Beard said: “We were poor. I had to rest all of the youngsters as they were set to have their county cup semi-final at Burgess Hill on Sunday.
“We just never got going, they even went down to ten men so we played 45 minutes with an extra player. But we never got our passing game going and over complicated everything.
“Everyone worked hard, but it was one of those days when nothing went right.
“We did not find the extra man, started playing long balls, were sloppy in possession and gave the ball away needlessly.
“I tried to bring the youngsters on the create a spark, but it didn’t really work.
“The winner was a bad goal to concede and it summed up the day really. It was one to forget. It was one when they did not deserve to win and neither did we.
“I thought it was going to be a draw so I was really disappointed. We had just won three on the spin, but we have lost that momentum again now.”
Scott Murfin gave the hosts the lead as he broke through and slotted past Harrison Hilfiker from 11 yards on 37 minutes.
Charlie Pitcher then spurned a chance that would come back to haunt the hosts after good work by Harry Bachelor and a final pass from Moore.
The striker hit a right-footed shot that was blocked and as he, the visiting goalkeeper and a centre-half all slid for the loose ball, where Pitcher’s left-foot effort hit the post and trickled wide.
In an all-action end to the half, Loxwood did level as Pitcher out stepped the defence, but was taken down in the area and Moore hit his third goal in three games from the penalty spot.
Pagham then had Neil Murfin dismissed after tackling Pitcher from behind and landing on top of him in what Beard felt was a stamp that could have been avoided.
But Loxwood failed to make the extra-man count in the second half as Pagham pinched the points late on.
With a minute left, a ball was fired high into the air after a throw and Hilfiker called to claim it, but failed to do so and Lewis slotted home the loose ball.
Beard added: “It was a shame as I rested all the young lads and the cup game was called off on Sunday. It’s on again this Sunday this time at home, so I will have to rest them all again next week.”
Loxwood: Hilfiker, Holvey, French, Scally, Courtney, Cave, Simpson, Swaine, Moore, Wood, Pitcher. Subs: Bachelor, Summerfield, Beard.
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