Loxwood assistant manager Matt Camp believes poor first-half performances were to blame for back-to-back defeats over the Easter weekend.
The Magpies first suffered a 2-1 home defeat against title chasers Haywards Heath on Saturday as two first-half goals from Jamie Weston and Karl Akehurst did the damage in securing all three points for the visitors.
That was despite a second-half penalty from Loxwood loan signing Hayden Skerry, but they failed to find a leveller.
Lancing were then the Magpies’ tormentors on Bank Holiday Monday as three first-half goals by Lewis Finney, Alexander Fair and Liam Benson set the home side on the way to victory.
Ollie Gill’s free-kick found the top corner to give Magpies hope on 70 minutes and Lancing goalkeeper Tyler D’Cruz was sent off for dissent in the aftermath, striker Fair recieved the same punishment soon after.
Despite Lancing having just nine men, it was they who extended their lead as Lewis Broughton capped the 4-1 win.
Reflecting on the games Camp said: “Both games were similar in as much as we only played for one half of the game, being the second half.
“We didn’t employ what we spoke about before the game in either match; hence why we were behind the eight-ball in both matches, being 2-0 down at Haywards heath and 3-0 down to Lancing.
“Although we performed much better in both second halves particularly against Haywards Heath we left ourselves with too much to do.
“On the other hand particularly against Haywards Heath what’s impressive is that we are playing a team that rightly believe they can win the division this year and yet we restricted them to very little in that half and really dominated them.”
The Magpies sit comfortably in 13th of the Southern Combination Premier Division with just eight games remaining.
Despite their stable position in the league, Camp does not feel his side are struggling to find motivation in the final third of the season.
He said: “We’re in a safe position and our goal is to finish as high as we can this season, and we’re not going to achieve that by only playing 45 minutes.
“We don’t believe the performances in the past two games are a result of mid-table mediocrity – we believe it’s a case of players needing to learn to implement what we speak about.”
Loxwood travel to third-placed Horsham YMCA this Saturday and were due to play sixth-placed Chichister City last night (Wednesday).
Loxwood v Heath: Smith, Courtney, Boiling, French, Holvey, Neathey, Napper, Swaine, Wood, Skerry, Wright. Subs: Bachelor, Denyer-Schneider, Dominique.
Loxwood v Lancing: Barr, Boiling, Warren, French, Dominique, Courtney, Napper, Bachelor, Wood, Skerry, Wright. Subs: Gill, Swaine.