New Worthing United manager Simon Funnell took lots of positives from his side’s performance in their 3-0 Peter Bentley Cup quarter-final defeat to Pagham on Tuesday evening.
Funnell felt it was a much better performance than his opening game in charge, a 3-0 loss at AFC Uckfield in the SCFL Premier Division on Saturday.
Pagham went ahead after just four minutes through Callum Overton but Mavericks then matched their high-flying opponents for long periods.
Matt Hards was denied an equaliser by a superb save, Alfie Gritt twice went close and Chamal Fenelon also had two efforts saved.
United had defender Tadley Bromage sent off for two bookings eight minutes from time and Kieron Pamment then struck twice for Pagham in the last three minutes.
Funnell said: “It was a much better performance from Saturday. We conceded early on but then we worked hard and matched them all over the park.
“We were in the game, had some quite good chances and there were lots of positives for us to take.
“In the second half, we were the better team but they scored twice late on after Tadley was sent off but I think 3-0 flattered them.
“We were up against a team who have a lot of Ryman-standard players and although we were disappointed with the result, I was pleased with our attitude, commitment and work-rate.
“We haven’t scored for six games, so we need to get that duck broken and also look to pick up our first point or win as soon as possible.”
On Saturday, AFC Uckfield took the lead through Terry Payne on eight minutes and then scored twice in a minute late on through Dominic Clarke and Richie Welch to seal all three points.
New signings Ben Ewing and Josh Fuller made their United debuts and Funnell said: “All the time it was 1-0, we were always in the game as it only takes a bit of magic to get back in the game. But a mistake let them make it 2-0 and it was then heads down and when they got the third, we were dead and buried.”
United host Broadbridge Heath in the league on Saturday.
UNITED v Pagham: Trigwell; Marsh, Ewing, Hards, Bromage, Fuller, Todd, Callaghan, Gritt, Rose, Fenelon. Subs: Gilmour, Foster, David, Sparks, Patching.
v AFC Uckfield: Trigwell; Ewing, Stideford, Marsh, Fuller, Callaghan, P.Elliott, Rose, Gritt, Todd, Fenelon. Subs: Foster, Hards, Gilmour.
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