Loxwood manager looks to the positives despite third late loss

Loxwood's Spencer Slaugher puts in a challenge against Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday. All pictures by Steve Robards
Loxwood's Spencer Slaugher puts in a challenge against Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday. All pictures by Steve Robards

Loxwood manager Alex Walsh insisted his side’s performance was ‘really pleasing’ despite conceding late again to lose to Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday.

Walsh’s side were 3-2 up entering the final ten minutes after a hat-trick from Alfie Gritt, but two goals in five minutes from the visitors turned the game on its head and condemned the Magpies to their second defeat of the season.

Loxwood assistant manager Nathan Bowen (left) and manager Alex Walsh

Loxwood assistant manager Nathan Bowen (left) and manager Alex Walsh

That continued the trend of conceding late goals for Loxwood, with Walsh’s team now having conceded a goal in the 85th minute or later in all three league games so far, but the manager is confident that they will ‘turn it around’ and start picking up points.

Reflecting on the most recent defeat for his side, Walsh said: “It was a mixed performance really. To score three goals at home is obviously really pleasing but again, it’s just the frustrations really of conceding late on.

“It’s difficult to put my finger on it at the moment, but obviously we’re working hard to try and turn it around. In house we know that we’re not a million miles away, so the performance overall I was satisfied with, but there are things that we need to improve, and that we need to improve quickly.”

He continued: “It’s happened three times in the league now. It’s not something I’ve been used to if I’m honest, but it could be coming down to a psychological thing.

Crawley Down Gatwick's Ollie Moore and Loxwood's Vincent Foella compete in the air

Crawley Down Gatwick's Ollie Moore and Loxwood's Vincent Foella compete in the air

“At the moment, in big moments, we’re not taking our chances and other teams are, so that’s what it’s coming down to at the moment. There were times where we could’ve killed them off on Saturday, but I think it’s probably that killer instinct that we’re lacking.

“The positives are we’re scoring goals, the team morale is fantastic at the moment, the best it’s been since I’ve been here, so we know we’ll turn it around soon.”

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Despite the disheartening defeat at the weekend, Walsh insists that he is ‘not concerned’ by the early season defeats, and is confident that his side can prove to be ‘a proper force’.

Action from Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick

Action from Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick

He added: “We’re not concerned. We want to be winning games of course, and certainly when we’re in winning positions we want to have better game management, but we’re not concerned.

“I believe in the group of players and I know that it will be coming very soon. Once we get that first win under our belts, we can be a proper force in this league.

“In the bigger picture we’re happy, but in the smaller picture we’d like more points. That will come over the course of the season though.”

Loxwood host Horsham YMCA in the league tonight (Tuesday). The Magpies then host East Preston in round two of the RUR Cup on Saturday before visiting EP again in the league on Tuesday (August 27).

Loxwood: Matthews, Frankland, Jenkins, Boiling, Smith (Floyd 70), Courtney, Slaughter, Foella, Brodie (Gardner 81), Goldson (T Bennett 75), Gritt. Unused: Campbell, E Bennett.