Loxwood lament missed penalty in interim manager's first game
Loxwood interim manager Mark Courtney admitted being ‘really happy’ despite his side suffering their 15th league defeat of the season in a close 1-0 defeat to Langney Wanderers on Saturday.
After an even first half, it took a well-worked move to open the scoring as Trey Masikini volleyed in the only goal of the game for the hosts who had only picked up one point since November.
The winless Magpies then had the chance to level from the penalty spot in the final minute but the spot-kick was saved.
Courtney, who took over managerial duties during the week after a string of poor results saw previous manager Alex Walsh part ways with the club, was pleased with the performance.
He said: “I was really happy to be honest. Obviously at the end, to get the goal would have been the icing on the cake, and what we deserved.
“Too many other managers are coming off and saying ‘you shouldn’t be at the bottom’ but at the end of the day, results don’t lie and we are where we are.
“It’s nice to think that we are at least competing. (The players) have done everything we asked them to do, we changed the shape, we’ve gone back to basics, and I was really happy with the formation.”
He continued: “We were difficult to break down and that’s what we’ve got to start doing. We’ve got to try and stop conceding and hope with the talent that we’ve got that we can start putting the ball in the back of the net.
“I’ve got the team behind me, they listened to what we were trying to do and they executed as well as can be. The only thing we didn’t do on Saturday was score a goal.
“If people get a bit of confidence, then results will start coming our way.”
Masikini had the best chance of the first half after cutting in from the wing only for his effort to rebound off the upright and away.
The second half became a much tighter affair as both sides probed but it took a moment of magic from Santana to unlock the Loxwood defence.
The forward deftly flicked the ball over a wall of defenders into Masikini who volleyed home.
But Loxwood continued to push forward for an equaliser and their pressure paid off in the last minute of injury time as they were awarded a penalty.
A Loxwood free kick caused confusion amongst the Langney defenders in the box and Peter Featherstone brought down a Loxwood player.
But the drama wasn’t over as Dan Hutchins pulled off a fantastic save to deny the away side an equaliser with the final kick of the game.
The Magpies’ trip to Lingfield on Tuesday night was postponed.
Loxwood are back in action next Tuesday when they host Saltdean United.
Loxwood: D’Cruz, Dunningham, Courtney, French, Allen, Colbran (Dawson 60), Frankland, Floyd, Morey (Bennett 70), Brodie, Karl (Follea 60). Unused: Elmellas.