Cup hero Beard ‘gutted’ as Loxwood crash at first hurdle

Bexhill United v Loxwood football action - FA Cup extra preliminary round, August 15, 2015 - Jack Aston (left) SUS-150818-234133002
Bexhill United v Loxwood football action - FA Cup extra preliminary round, August 15, 2015 - Jack Aston (left) SUS-150818-234133002

Manager Mark Beard admitted he was ‘gutted’ as his Loxwood side’s first-ever FA Cup outing ended with a whimper.

The Magpies, who were reduced to ten men in the second half, went down 3-1 away to division-lower Bexhill United in the extra preliminary round.

There will be no repeat of history for one-time cup hero Beard, who once netted a classic FA Cup goal for Millwall as they beat Arsenal 2-0 in the third round in 1995, as his team crashed out at the very first hurdle.

Kevin Barden netted the opener five minutes before half-time as Bexhill broke from a corner and hit a ball over the top. He then added a second ten minutes after the break from another counter-attack.

Loxwood, despite having Mark Cave sent off for foul and abusive language, pulled one back through Charlie Pitcher, but Ben Phipps added a third in injury time.

Beard said: “I was gutted and still am gutted. I was really, really disappointed with the performance overall.

“It was one of those we should be winning - no disrespect to them, but they are the division below.

“We did not play at all and the only time we did was when we were down to ten men and 2-0 down, there was a bit of urgency and desire, but it was too late then.

“Maybe the players thought they could turn up and win, but you can’t do that at any level of football.”

Loxwood: Smith, Courtney, French, Holvey, Beard, Swain, Scally, Cave, Summerfield (Woon 70), Pitcher (Geed 46), Pritchard. Unused: Ramsey, Batchelor.

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