Joint interim Loxwood boss Matt Camp feels luck has not been on their side this season as they fell to a 1-0 home defeat to Lingfield in the Premier Division on Saturday.
Ben Connolly bagged the game’s only goal on 29 minutes as Lingfield’s Jamie Bakhit was shown a red card on 68 minutes.
Camp said: “Lingfield are a well coached unit and there is a lot of interchanging in their positions and we didn’t deal with that in the first half.
“We made it very easy for them to get into our final third and that is where the goal came from. We resolved that at half-time and I can’t really think of a chance they had in the second half.
“Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got to do better in the final third but there are little breaks that we aren’t getting. It would be wrong to say it’s all bad luck, but you do get to the stage where you want one little thing to go for you in that scenario and it’s just not happening.
“We’ve got to make sure our training is at a good intensity as that negates the confidence issue. 26 games is a long way to go so there’s plenty of time.”
Lingfield took the game to Loxwood in the opening 20 minutes and they punished the Magpies before the half hour mark. TJ Stead found Connolly who was left one-on-one with Liam Matthews in the Loxwood goal and he buried the ball into the corner.
The last ten minutes of the half saw the Magpies get back into the game but they failed to convert any of their chances.
Bakhit was given a second yellow in the second half after he was pickpocketed on the edge of his own box and hauled down a Loxwood player.
This meant the visitors had to play the final 20 minutes with ten men and the Magpies threw the kitchen sink at the opposition.
The Lingfield ‘keeper was forced into a good save late on before Loxwood hit the crossbar from a corner but the hosts couldn’t find a late equaliser.
Two 16-year-olds, Samuel Shoubridge, and Ollie Young, made their first team debuts in this fixture. Camp was delighted that the youngsters made the step up to the first team and felt that the future of Loxwood looked bright.
He added: “Speaking as the under-18s manager I’m extremely proud. It would be all too easy though to sit there thinking we are desperate for players. It’s not that, those boys deserve that chance.
“We’ve seen a fantastic compliment from Lingfield in that they didn’t know there were 16-year-olds making their debut so that’s testament to what we’re doing.
“We’re not going to get out of this hole by just fielding loads of 16-year-olds but looking down the years to come it bodes extremely well for us.”
Loxwood host East Preston on Saturday.
Loxwood: Matthews, Williams, Warren, Milborrow, Jardim, Swaine, Joels, Westlake, Wood, Bachelor, Death. Subs: Bennett, Goddard, Maunder, Shoubridge, Young.