Horsham boss Gary Charman admitted last night’s 2-1 home defeat against Faversham Town was a deflating one as he felt his side never deserved to lose the game.
The Salters Lane outfit climbed to the top of Ryman League South Division with the victory, while the Hornets were condemned to Christmas at the foot of the table.
A 70th-minute red card to Ryan Woodford for a foul in the penalty area swung the game and despite a fine penalty save from Gareth Williams, the visitors scored the winner from the resulting corner.
Charman had no complaints with the penalty decision but was bitterly disappointed to concede poorly straight after it.
He said: I thought first half we were the better side, we slightly edged it on chances. Their goalkeeper has pulled off one of the saves of the season, it was an unbelievable save and I think really we should have gone in either 1-0 up or 2-1 up.
“We started the second half in the first five minutes brilliantly, absolutely brilliantly and I was thinking, if we carry this on and keep pushing them back, then it’s only a matter of time.
“Again, though, we gave the ball away sloppily and all of a sudden we are on the back foot, defending a few corners and we struggled to get out for about ten or 15 minutes and then obviously the penalty incident, which I haven’t got a problem with.
“It was a penalty and then if he is classed as last man, then I am too far away to say. I’ll wait until the video comes out. If he is last man, then I have no problem with it as it’s a foul.
“Things go for go you when you are at the top of the league and they don’t when you are at the bottom. I must admit, I thought there we a lot of 50/50s we did not get. I said to the ref, every big decision you got right, but we didn’t get a lot of 50/50s.
“They are called 50/50s for a reason and they may as well have been called 80/20s. It’s quite deflating as a player when you aren’t getting decisions and we didn’t get the majority of them today.
“That’s the way it has been going for us. The ball completely did everyone and he’s been caught big time. The goalie pulls off another fantastic save and then what happens nine times out of ten? You concede from the corner, and we did.
“It was very, very disappointing. I am not saying we could have lasted for 20 minutes and hung on with 1-1, but to concede straight after a penalty save was bitterly disappointing.”
The player-boss, however, did saluted a number of stand-out displays from his players and added: “There were some huge performances by some players. Billy-Joe King, my goalkeeper, the two centre-havles - Ryan until he got sent off - were magnificent and Anthony Storey completely bossed the game at times.
“Byron and Rosco’s work rate, Rosco’s didn’t obviously have his best performance on the ball, but his work rate off the ball was phenomenal.
“There were some really, really good positives, but they are deflated in there. It’s going to take again a lot of work to pick them up as they didn’t deserve to lose the game.
“I hear some crowd comments of try and gee them up, the last five-ten minutes the boys are knackered. The pitch was heavy out there and they put a hell of a lot of work rate in. They play very differently to us, they are quite direct and we like to get it out wide and fill the box, there is a lot of more work that goes into that.
“I feel for the players as they are top of the league at Christmas and we certainly didn’t deserve to lose the game.”