Steyning Town fell to their third straight defeat on Tuesday night although there were positives to take, according to manager John Suter.
After starting the County League Division 2 campaign with three consecutive victories, their 4-0 defeat at Oakwood followed losses to Wick & Barnham United and Little Common.
Suter said it could have easily been a different story with Town spurning chances to level the scores in the second half, but lamented a number of injuries and unavailabilities.
He said: “There are always mitigating circumstances and three of my back four did not play – Ben Greer, Ash Finch and Rob Hare – and then Chad Milner was not available and he’s my top goalscorer.
“It was 3-0 at one point, but could have easily been 3-3 to quote their manager. We had chances to score and played some decent football at times, but needed to be much more clinical in front of goal.
“It was not all negatives and we did not come away with our tail between our legs as there were positives.”
Oakwood went ahead in on 22 minutes as Ben Arther headed home after Town failed to react to a free kick.
Steyning then conceded two goals right on the stroke of half-time as Clive Piller bagged the hosts’ second as they broke from a Town corner, before Tony Gilbert made it three in first-half stoppage time.
Town worked hard in the second-half and created numerous chances, which they failed to take, before Leroy Hyett was found in plenty of space and crashed home his side’s fourth with 17 minutes to play.
Steyning: Jeal, Early, Towler, Pickup, Parsons, Towse, Huggins (Harris 68), Boxall (Dodd 65), Harding, Levoi, Warr (Curt Milner 75).