Bexhill United slumped to their heaviest league defeat of the season with a 4-0 loss away to table-topping Worthing United on Saturday.
It was an eventful afternoon for Pirates manager Marc Munday, who started the game in goal before moving into midfield for the second half and then being sent-off for the third time this term.
He said: “We knew it was going to be tough. They’re a good side and they’re deservedly the best team in the league, but it just seemed so quiet and flat like a pre-season friendly. In the first half there was nothing going for us.
“I was pleased with the lads in the second half - they gave a reaction that I wanted from a rubbish first half. But I don’t expect that attitude at the start of the game.”
Regular Bexhill goalkeeper Yankuba Camara agreed to play despite struggling with injury, but was unable to get to the Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two game so Munday donned the goalkeeper’s gloves for the second match running.
He could only look on as Worthing deservedly opened up a 2-0 half time lead having played some great football only to be slightly let down by trying to walk the ball into the net at times.
They’re a good side and they’re deservedly the best team in the league, but it just seemed so quiet and flat like a pre-season friendly.Marc Munday
Bexhill weren’t close enough to Sam Blundell as he slotted past Munday to open the scoring, and it was a similar story as Paul Elliott turned and fired the second into the corner following a cross from Worthing’s left.
Damien White went in goal for the second half as Munday moved into more familiar midfield territory in the hope of getting Bexhill up for the battle a bit more.
And initially the switch had the desired effect as Bexhill pressed their opponents - rather than allowing them to play as they had during the first half - and started causing them some problems.
Bexhill mustered their first few attempts at goal and started to look capable of getting back into the game until conceding a contentious penalty when George Aston was penalised for handball as the ball ping-ponged around in the box. Wayne Joseph made no mistake from the spot.
“I couldn’t believe it was given,” continued Munday. “It absolutely killed us. I’m not saying we would’ve gone on and won, but at least it was a game at that point.”
Within five minutes of that, Munday was shown a straight red card - having earlier been booked - following an aerial challenge with David MacNeill which left both men in the wars.
“I’ve split my head open and he’s split his head open, but my eye was on the ball as I’ve tried to win it,” added Munday, who was dismissed by the same referee at Midhurst & Easebourne in January.
The game reverted to the pattern of the first half thereafter and Mark O’Regan added a fourth goal for Worthing, who have now clinched promotion and beaten every other team in the division.
Bexhill: Munday; Cooper (Wheeler), G. Aston, Cruikshank, Ottley; Cumming-Bart, J. Aston, Elliott-Noye, McMinigal (White); Pickering, McDonald.