John Rhodie was left disappointed after seeing Storrington Football Club fall to defeat at rivals Southwick on Saturday.
Ross Petts, Joe Bidwell and substitute Thomas Donnelly all struck as Wickers recorded a 3-1 victory.
With Swans trailing 1-0, Jack Piner reckless challenge on Josh Warner saw him receive a straight red after 25 minutes, before Adam Bardouleau was also dismissed following his reaction.
Storrington player-manager Rhodie felt going down to ten was a turning point and said: “We didn’t start well then got into it and began to control things. I didn’t feel Adam should have been sent-off. After both teams go down to ten, it’s then difficult for us being a goal down and having to chase it. They caught us on the counter a couple of times and we couldn’t find a way back into it, despite having most of the ball.”
Wickers went ahead inside three minutes as Joe Bidwell picked out Petts, who was on hand to fire home.
A key moment in the game then came on 25 minutes. Piner’s late challenge resulted in him being shown a red, while Bardouleau was dismissed for his reaction.
With both teams down to ten, Southwick coped better and Joe Bidwell made it 2-0 20 minutes from time.
Matthew Searle headed home a minute later to give Swans hope but Southwick substitute Donnelly sealed the win five minutes from the end.
Storrington travel to second-placed Saltdean United on Saturday.
STORRINGTON: Elliott; Setchell, Bardouleau, Jarvie, Clarke; Searle, Gilmour; Josh Warner, Shoebridge, Gray; Joe Warner. Subs: Moyo (Joe Warner), Boxall (Gray), Naylor, Meeney.
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