Loxwood boss Mark Beard felt an unreflective scoreline in their home defeat to Newhaven makes it look like they took a ‘hammering’.
And while admitting they were caught out by things they highlighted pre-match, the former Millwall man says the final result had an untrue gloss.
A first-half goal from Ryan Walton put the visitors ahead at the break, before counter-attacking goals from Elliott Wood and Lee Robinson sealed the Dockers’ win.
Charlie Pitcher missed a plethora of chances for the Magpies, who suffered their second consecutive defeat after a run of ten games unbeaten.
Beard said: “Everything we talked about before the game they did. They used Lee Robinson up front to their advantage. We said about not making silly mistakes and giving away silly fouls which we didn’t, but a lot that we talked about, they undid us with.
“We did control most of the game and had so many missed chances, even ones from close range, a yard or so out.
“On another day Charlie Pitcher could have had six. We just let ourselves down a little bit. If you were not there and see the scoreline at 3-0 it looks like a hammering, but that could not be further from the truth.”
The hosts also had to play goalkeeper Harrison Hilfiker for the whole match despite picking up an injury after just seven minutes.
Beard added: “Sam Smith has left for Horsham YMCA. Harrison kept asking to come off, but I didn’t want to put Mark Cave in for the second game in a row. It just shows they did not have to put a lot of pressure on him. We are going through a bad patch with injuries at the minute, but will have to ride it out.”
After an even start, Hilfiker was called into action first as he produced a good save to deny Newhaven the opener.
On 19 minutes, Pitcher’s effort at the other end was tipped over the bar by opposition keeper Jake Buss.
An under-hit backpass from Lewis Scally required Hilfiker to be on his toes and avert the danger on 30 minutes.
Six minutes before the break, Mark Cave’s cross was just too far for the arriving Pitcher and Clyde Jacques.
Immediately down the other end, Ryan Walton fired the visitors ahead to give them a 1-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, Pitcher rose well to meet Tony House’s cross but his header came back off the bar. Jay Lovett’s best chance was from an excellent ball by Joel Colbran, but his volley skewed wide, while Pitcher continued to be a nuisance.
All the good work was undone with 20 minutes to go though after Cave was adjudged to have committed a foul on the flank. Seb Saunders free-kick was headed by Ryan Knight to Wood who smashed home a right-footed volley.
The hosts pressed hard to try and restore parity, but left themselves exposed at the back. And, in the 81st minute, Robinson forced home a third.
Loxwood: Hilifker, Colbran, Scally, Lovett, Daniel (Jee 78), Jacques (French 61), Cave, Napper, Wood (Entickanp 82), House, Pitcher.
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