Alex Walsh said the disappointment in the Loxwood dressing room after Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat against Saltdean United in the Premier Division shows ‘just how far the players have come’.
Robbie Dean struck for the Tigers but Tim Bennett levelled for the hosts.
Jamie Brotherton bagged himself a double before Elliott Bennett’s late penalty gave the Magpies hope of a point.
But the Plaistow Road-outfit couldn’t force an equaliser as they fell to their second league loss in a row.
Loxwood stay 15th and six points clear of relegation as all the teams below them failed to pick up any points at the weekend.
Walsh said: “There were hints of deja vu from Tuesday night’s game against Horsham YMCA. It was a similar challenge but a similar outcome.
“We were all very disappointed in the changing room at the end not to collect anything out of the game. It shows just how far the players have come in the short space of time.
“Credit to them, they’re never going to give up and I’m very lucky to have a group of players that will continue fighting until the end.
“We’re disappointed that we haven’t been able to collect any points but I think the players can hold their heads high because they’ve gone against two sides in the top-five and made them earn the right to win.
“That’s something that’s pleasing but I want to win every single game that we go into, so to play well in both games and not collect anything is disappointing.”
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The visitors opened the scoring after nine minutes thanks to a superb 20-yard half-volley from Dean.
Loxwood equalised on 27 minutes. A whipped corner from Jason Dawson caused havoc in the box, and Tim Bennett poked home from the ensuing goalmouth scramble.
With the sides level at the break, Saltdean went 2-1 up two minutes into the second period through a Brotherton penalty.
Brotherton then doubled the advantage, and his tally, on 71 minutes but the Magpies struck back five minutes later.
A mazy, solo run from Elliott Bennett saw him felled in the area and he showed great composure from the spot to bring Loxwood back into the game.
The Magpies have had a habit in recent weeks of snatching late goals at the death, but it wasn’t to be as they fell to their second 3-2 home defeat in a week.
Walsh added: “Credit it to Elliott. As an under-18 to step up and take the penalty after going down shows good character.
“It shows he was brave and doesn’t mind stepping up when it was difficult. If we had missed that it would have been tough to take.
“Unfortunately we didn’t find that third but both goals the youngsters scored for us showed we’ve got some good youth here at Loxwood.”
The Magpies travel to basement-side Eastbourne United on Saturday in a vital clash at the bottom-of-the-table.
Loxwood: Matthews, Dawson, Broughton, French, Boiling, Courtney, Cowan, Follea, Goldson, Mutongerwa, T Bennett. Subs: Smith, Popham, Robinson, E Bennett, Frankland.