Loxwood boss Dave Cocoracchio is still targeting a sixth-placed finish in the Premier Division despite falling to defeat against league leaders Haywards Heath Town on Saturday.
It didn’t take long for Heath to show why they’re currently top of the table, with midfielder Karl Akehurst scoring a goal which Cocoracchio could only describe as ‘unsaveable’.
The ball came out 25 yards from a corner where it was met on the half volley from Akehurst, sending the ball flying in to the top corner of the net with 29 minutes gone.
The score remained 1-0 up until the break with the game becoming a scrappy affair with neither side taking the game by the scruff of the neck. Again it was Heath who came out in the second half with the early chances going their way.
Striker Melford Simpson picked the ball up outside the box and on the turn firing the ball towards goal which took a unfortunate deflection, sending the ball in to the bottom corner of Loxwood’s net.
Six minutes later it got worse for Cocoracchio’s side with Simpson towering above the Loxwood defence to head the ball home in to the far corner of the net.
However, the problems didn’t end there with Loxwood midfielder Lewis Scally receiving a second yellow for a late tackle following a misplaced touch on 65 minutes.
Cocoracchio added: “I have no qualms, both were yellow cards and he deserved to be sent off, so I have no complaints.
“Once we went down to 10 men, we played some very good football and it galvanised our side.”
With ten minutes to go, Loxwood substitute Toby House scored from a excellent cross supplied by midfielder Michael Wood, but it was nothing more than a consolation for the Magpies,as their five-game winning run was ended.
With Loxwood’s last game of the season coming against sixth-placed Eastbourne United a victory will see them finish the season in sixth.
Cocorachio - who retook the reins at Loxwood eight weeks ago - said: “We’ve got to put in the performance and get the three points on Saturday.”
“When I came back in eight weeks ago my aim was to finish sixth and if we win this weekend that will be the case. So it’s in our hands really.”
Loxwood: Carruthers, Frankland, Warren, Holvey, Courtney, Napper, Wood, Scally, Andrade, Moore, Bachelor. Subs: Davis, House, Daniel.