SOUTHWICK Football Club manager Lloyd Saunders believes some of his travel-shy players came down with a new illness ahead of their trip to Bexhill on Saturday.
A number of late drop-outs, for various reasons, led to the Wickers boss admitting they were short up top and of game-changing options from the bench to change what was a tight affair against Bexhill, as Wickers’ six-game unbeaten run was ended with a 1-0 defeat.
He said: “0-0 probably would have been a fair result but our downfall was a few of the players came down with, as I described it in the changing rooms, Bexhill-itis, like tonsillitis, but instead just not fancying the trip.
“I still had a strong enough 11 to start, but on the bench I had Darryl Livesey, who was coming back from injury, and a couple of reserve team players.
“No disrespect, but I had no one to come off the bench that could win it, whereas one half-chance fell to Dominic Clarke, who had come back from Burgess Hill for them, and that won it.
“It was 0-0 at half-time and neither side looked likely to score. Defensively, we were solid and the three across the middle, too, but I had no forwards to come off the bench and change it.
“It’s frustrating as we have been playing all right and done really well, but you get people calling up at 10 in the morning saying they have to work or can’t get away – just poor excuses, really.
“Maybe they didn’t fancy it, and I don’t pay them, so what can I do?”
The match itself was far from a classic, with Wickers’ Jordan Saunders having the only real chance in the first half as his free kick was tipped onto the bar midway through the half.
Clarke, however, was the difference as he nodded in a cross on 75 minutes, before with the visitors switching to three at the back and pushing forward, keeper Callum Fidler made a good save to keep it at 1-0.
Wickers travel to revitalised Loxwood, who have recorded four consecutive victories, on Saturday.