Cocoracchio pleased with players’ response despite narrow lost to Eastbourne

Loxwood v Eastbourne Town. Picture by Joe Knight
Loxwood v Eastbourne Town. Picture by Joe Knight

Returning Loxwood manager Dave Cocoracchio was pleased with the response from his players, despite a narrow defeat to Eastbourne United.

The Magpies’ director of football returned to the Plaistow Road dugout to take charge after Mark Beard was forced to step down last week owing to working commitments.

Joel Colbran. Loxwood v Eastbourne Town. Picture by Joe Knight

Joel Colbran. Loxwood v Eastbourne Town. Picture by Joe Knight

And although it was a first-half Joel Colbran own goal that gave the visitors the points, Cocoracchio was pleased with their second-half reaction and dominant display.

He said: “It was quite cagey in the first half, to be fair, they probably had the best of the possession, but did not create a massive amount with that.

“Second half, the boys listened to what I asked at half-time and applied it a lot better. We played with urgency and intensity and with a good quality of football.

“We camped in their half and created numerous chances, but unfortunately, if you do not take you chances, then you aren’t going to walk away with anything.

Dave Cocoracchio. Loxwood v Eastbourne Town. Picture by Joe Knight

Dave Cocoracchio. Loxwood v Eastbourne Town. Picture by Joe Knight

“It’s scant consolation when all their management team and committee said they are shocked to be walking away with the points.”

The result meant the Magpies missed out on closing the gap on sixth-placed Town to just three points.

But Cocoracchio was pleased with their day’s work, he added: “What was most important was the response of the players to me taking over, but more importantly what I asked them to do.

“Eastbourne Town have been in a very good run of form, to play a good team with quality players and be dominant against them is delightful, especially after a tough week.”

Max Bickell headed wide from a Tom Frankland cross, while at the other end, Byron Napper blocked a shot and Ethan Strevett’s follow-up was sliced wide.

On 26 minutes, United led as a Daniel Bolwell corner evaded Dave Carruthers and the ball deflected off Colbran and into his own net.

Harry Bachelor fired over and then straight at Greg Nessling, before just before half-time David Smart turned the ball into the Loxwood net, but he was adjudged to have been offside.

Loxwood had plenty of chances to level after the break as Frankland and Bickell both had early shots blocked and substitute Charlie Pitcher was denied by Nessling.

Colbran’s dipping shot was then beat away and the keeper then claimed an acrobatic volley by Bickell and Pitcher curled wide.

Daniel Rogers received just a yellow after bringing Pitcher down as the last man, before late Loxwood chances saw Colbran’s header saved and Harry Bachelor and Scally efforts blocked behind.

Loxwood: Carruthurs, Colbran, Scally, French (Daniel 83), Holvey, Bachelor, Swaine (Pitcher 61), Napper, Frankland (Warren 65), Bickell, Gill.