Beard suffering frustrating time at Loxwood as United edge out victory

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Mark Beard has been left frustrated on all fronts as Loxwood’s torrid run continued against a Worthing United side that started the day in the Premier Division relegation places.

Adrian Todd came back to haunt his former side as his first-half strike gave the Mavericks all three points in a 1-0 victory.

Loxwood were short on numbers with 11 first-team players missing, leaving Beard to name himself on the bench along with coach Matt Camp.

The manager said: “We worked it out and no disrespect to any of the lads, but seven or eight of those 11 would have been starting.

“It’s just a frustrating time at the minute. I have not been able to pick a consistent team for a run of games. I want to have players week in, week out and I think some are feeling a bit sorry for themselves. We can’t afford to pay players to play so I cannot force players to come to training or turn up if they have work.

“It’s just the situation we are in, but I want to be winning games. The team I put out on Saturday should have been winning the game, but we did not take our chances.

“We really lacked that bit of quality in the final third, second half we had the ball in their final third for 45 minutes, but just couldn’t finish.”

United took the lead on 24 minutes as Alfie Gritt slipped Todd in and the former Loxwood player took his opportunity to cut inside before placing a left-footed shot inside the far post.

Charlie Pitcher had a similar chance for the hosts moments later, but his shot across Fraser Tigwell was parried away.

The best opportunity to level came after Cecil Jee got ahead of Joe Smith in the box on 33 minutes and was adjudged to have been fouled by the centre back, but Pitcher’s penalty was well saved by Tigwell.

In the second half, Michael Wood’s effort on the stretch went wide, Matt Daniel’s free kick drifted over and Pitcher headed just wide. ​Soon after the hour, Toby House’s cross-shot evaded everyone, Wood’s shot was well saved and new signing Ed Davies came off the bench to fire over the bar.

The Magpies almost grabbed an injury-time leveller when House’s header clipped the bar and went over.

Loxwood: Hilfiker, Jacques, French, Scally, Jee, Enticknap, Napper, Daniel, Wood, House, Pitcher, (Davies 61). Unused: ​M.Beard, Camp.

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