It was a disappointing performance from Broadbridge Heath against a lively East Preston team, who thoroughly deserved their victory in the Premier Division on Saturday.
The Bears were looking to build on an impressive showing against Littlehampton last midweek, where their 4-1 success produced a first win in seven attempts.
But goals from Ryan Quirke and Matt Searle gave EP an eighth win of the campaign and moved them to within two points and place of 13th-placed Heath.
The visitors kicked off with a strong cold wind on their backs and early pressure saw Ryan Quirke’s corner headed over the Heath crossbar.
This was followed minutes later with a snap-shot at goal by Dan Huet from eight yards that went narrowly wide of Michael Chester’s left-hand post.
The opening goal was somewhat fortunate for the visitors when Quirke took a pot shot at goal from 25 yards that kept low but went straight to Chester, who got down to gather, but an uncharacteristic mistake saw the ball squirm out of his grasp and into the net.
A long delay then followed midway through the half when the match referee pulled up with a calf injury and was replaced by one of his assistants with Heath coach Nik Mulcahy taking over as linesman.
The long stop seemed to work in Heath’s favour as they went on to create several openings. George Cousins 20- yard effort went wide of Ben Purkis’s left post and Scott Weller’s left-foot free kick from just outside the penalty area went just wide.
Tiago Andrade shot over the bar when well placed and in the eighth minute of stoppage time, Martyn Flack header from Tom Frankland’s cross, but the ball was saved by Purkis on the line.
As the temperature dropped so did the goal chances with neither side creating much in the second period. The visitors were awarded a corner on 63 minutes and from that Matt Searle came running in and met the ball with a powerful header that gave Chester no chance of stopping.
After that the game fizzled out, the Bears went into hibernation and never looked like getting back into the match and overall a very quiet afternoon for both goalkeepers.
Next up for Heath is a tough trip to in-form Pagham next Saturday.
Heath: M.Chester, Frankland (Balfour 70), Godfrey, Findlay, Flack, Howard-Bold, Robinson, Weller, Andrade, S.Chester, Cousins (Fuller 50).