Luis Freitas was left to rue defensive mistakes and a bluntness in attack as Billingshurst fell to a 5-2 home derby defeat against ten-man Steyning Town in Division 1 on Saturday.
After two weeks of inactivity owing to games being postponed due to adverse weather conditions, ‘Hurst found themselves 3-0 down after a 12 minute blitzkrieg from the table-toppers.
Ben Hands reduced the deficit on 26 minutes and the hosts were handed a further lifeline two minutes later as Town’s Zach Haulkham was shown a straight red after a late tackle on forward Jake Chadwick.
Despite the man advantage Billingshurst conceded a further two goals before the end of the half, leaving them 5-1 down at the end of the first 45 minutes.
In the second-half Steyning looked to keep the ball and frustrate ‘Hurst. Hands did add his second of the game on 77 minutes but Freitas’ side couldn’t find a way to peg back Town.
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The Billingshurst boss said: “I’m not sure if frustration is the word as normally it’s us with ten men and we have dealt with ten men well.
“This time around when we got our chances we didn’t put them away and then we made mistakes at the other end. Before we knew it was 5-1 going into half-time.
“Ben Hands was unplayable up-front and this is a player that has not been long with us and is still getting use to the way we play.
“We hadn’t played in the last two weeks, but as a whole I’m proud of the players and in the next two games we will be that little bit better.”
Billingshurst travel to seventh-placed Littlehampton Town on Saturday.
‘Hurst: Hopkins, Bradshaw, Court, Jeal, Rendell, Simester, N Da Silva, Mahadoo (Brooker 70), Hands, Chadwick (Bryant 60), J Da Silva. Unused: Luzinda.