Westfield Football Club assistant manager Mark Drinkwater felt his players produced a valiant effort against Worthing United.
The Westies led twice at home to the Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two leaders on Saturday before succumbing to a 4-2 defeat.
Drinkwater said: “It was a valiant effort. When you’re playing the team that are top of the league - and from what I’ve seen they’re definitely the best side we’ve played this year - you know it’s always going to be an uphill battle, but I thought we battled well.
“We went out with a gameplan and for 70 minutes it probably worked. I never felt we were out of the game, I always felt we could’ve got something out of it. But once it goes to 4-2 it’s always difficult.”
Drinkwater also described Westfield’s frustration at the decision to show a second yellow card - and consequently a red - to captain Gordon Cuddington.
“It’s a confusing one,” he added. “The referee said he didn’t see anything and consulted his linesman. Their number eight I think it was came through Gordon, came over the top, and it was a pretty nasty foul from their guy which would’ve been a yellow for him, but the linesman somehow seemed to see it differently and explained to the referee that Gordon had gone through the back of their number eight and it was definitely a second yellow. To their bench, our bench and 99% of the players, it was a very confusing decision.”
I never felt we were out of the game, I always felt we could’ve got something out of itMark Drinkwater
Westfield remain fourth-bottom with three games to go, the first of which is away to Steyning Town this coming Saturday.
Drinkwater said: “All three are going to be really tough, but they’re games we feel we can pick up points in.
“We don’t want to go into the last three and think the season’s done now; we’ve got a really good opportunity to pick up points and push us a little bit further up the table.
“We know we’re never going to bother the top six, but if we can pick up some points, hopefully that’s going to help us achieve a reasonable finish.”