Lancing Football Club fell victim to two late goals as they were beaten 5-3 away to Rye United on Saturday.
In what was a pulsating encounter played at a ferocious tempo, Lancers showed immense character as they levelled from 3-1 down and they were perhaps unfortunate not to earn at least a point.
Rye took the lead after just two minutes as Anthony Storey bundled home at the near post from a corner, and shortly afterwards the visitors found themselves two down as Sam Crabb capitalised on a quickly taken free-kick.
However, Lancing did not give up and Richard Hudson halved the deficit midway through the first half with a superb free kick. Lancers kept pressing and both Shaheen Sadough and Hudson went close, before Rye scored a third as Storey bagged his second.
Lancing manager Martin Gander introduced youngster Declan Lunn into proceedings and that seemed to spark Lancers into life.
Grant Phillpott’s cross from the left found the net via a Rye defender, before Darren Boswell drilled home the equaliser six minutes from time.
With the home side under severe pressure, Gander elected to go for the win but it did not pay dividends as Matt Maclean scored to put Rye back ahead.
Philpott then received his marching orders for a second booking, and from the resulting set-piece, Sam Adams added a fifth.
Gander said: “When we scored the equaliser I told the lads to go for it and it didn’t pay off. The lads showed great determination and I don’t think we deserved to lose.”
LANCING: Harding; Taylor, Sharman, Gainsford, O’Regan; Boswell, Hunt, Turner, Philpott; Sadough, Hudson. Subs: Howard (Hudson 35), Lunn (Turner 70), Bailey, Fenton.