Lancing Football Club’s Peter Bentley Cup defence was ended in the second-round of this year’s competition on Saturday.
Goals from Jake Gale, Daniel Watts and Omar Barry saw Lancers slip to a 3-1 away defeat at fellow Southern Combination League Premier Division side Chichester City.
Boss Ash Bailey guided Lancing to their first senior silverware in 26 years last season but that title will not be retained this season.
Bailey felt his side were lacklustre on the day and admitted it was a bad way for their defence to end.
He said: “I was hoping to retain our title this season but we won’t be doing that now.
“A few players were not fit enough and let the side down on Saturday.
“After the game I let the players know how I felt and I want to see an improvement.
“Chichester were the better side on the day and deserved the victory.
“Things have been working against us this season so far with unavailability and injuries causing us some real issues.
“I’ve said to the team if we are to match or better what we did last season it must improve.
“We are the team that everyone wants to beat this season. Last year we went to places and played teams off the park, so no team wants that done to them again.”
Lancers were handed a great opportunity to go in front as they were awarded a penalty on three minutes. But Lewis Finney could only fire against the crossbar as it remained 0-0.
A quick breakaway saw City take the lead a minute before the break.Lancers were on the attack but got caught and Gale rounded off the move.
Watts added a second seven minutes after the restart as the home side took control.
Finney made up for his earlier penalty miss to pull one back on 55 minutes as Lancing had hope.
Despite piling on the pressure, the home side’s two-goal advantage was restored 12 minutes from time. Substitute Barry was on hand to finish off another sweeping City move as they went 3-1 in front.
Lancing looked flat in the closing stages as their Peter Bentley Cup defence came to an abrupt end at the first hurdle.
LANCING: Green; Mills, Allan, Gainsford, Fenton; Hendy, Caplin, Deen; McHale, L.Finney, Adams. Subs: E.Finney (Mills), Quirke (Caplin), Fair (Adams), Sharman, Fidler.
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