LANCING Football Club’s joint manager Martin Gander rued his side’s late bad luck as a Sam O’Regan own goal gave County League Division 1 leaders Rye United a 3-2 win at Culver Road on Saturday.
Lancers had battled back from a 2-0 half-time deficit through Darren Boswell and Wayne Joesph goals, before the ball went in off O’Regan with just two minutes remaining.
Gander said: “We gifted them two sloppy goals to go 2-0 down, and at half-time Rye could have been out of sight, but I was pleased with our fightback to get back to 2-2 and we were probably worth of a point.
“We were unlucky to lose, but 11 points from six games is a decent start and we’ve got players coming back from injury, so, hopefully, we’ll win more than we lose.
“It’s a disappointing way to lose, but we ran a very good side close and it’s mixed emotions for us.”
Lancing had Richard Hudson back from injury to make his first appearance of the season, but it was the league leaders who took control in the first half.
Wes Tate slotted Rye ahead in the fifth minute, and Scott Ramsay doubled the lead 10 minutes later. Matt Evans denied Ramsay a third and also kept out Shaun Loft before half-time.
The saves proved crucial as Lancers pulled a goal back just shy of the hour mark when Boswell turned home a Lee Denyer cross.
Joseph then levelled for Lancers when he fired home the rebound after Boswell shot against the post.
It seemed that had earned a creditable point, but Ramsay’s effort was parried by Evans, hit the unfortunate O’Regan and rolled into the net on 88 minutes to give the points to Rye.
LANCING: Evans; Hunt, Elliott, O’Regan, Denyer; Hudson, McLoughlin, Hayward, Joseph; Boswell, Annis. Subs: Sharman (McLoughlin 26), Banasco-Zaragoza, Paterson, Turner.