Despite leading with 15 minutes to go, Petworth failed to get the point which would have guaranteed they finished outside of the bottom three as they lost 2-1 at home to Hunston CC Reserves in division one of the West Sussex League.
Petworth’s starting line-up featured two outstanding servants to the club playing their last games for the team.
Rob Levett, one of Petworth’s all-time leading goalscorers, stated his intention to retire after a long and very successful time with the club and the ever-dependable Quinn Murray is set to undergo a long-overdue knee operation.
Manager Adie Konieczny paid tribute to both players saying: “Petworth are losing two of their most committed, loyal and effective players. Both have a first-class attitude, and both were a major part of our back-to-back promotion seasons when we reached the premier division for the first time in over 20 years.”
The game started with Petworth playing against a mediocre looking ten-man Hunston team but the arrival and introduction of premier-division leading scorer Shaun Jenkins after ten minutes was to make all the difference. Jenkins galvanised Hunston and they started to play with more confidence.
After 20 minutes Levett had a fierce left-foot shot well saved, but Petworth did take lead after 30 minutes when a neat interchange of passes between Jaysi Wells and Mark Cooper led to Wells slotting in from 15 yards.
Hunston were the better side in the second half. The otherwise-excellent Jordy Renshaw conceded a penalty midway through the half which was brilliantly saved by Alex Wadey.
But Hunston got the equaliser they deserved when the Petworth defence failed to close down Jenkins, who set up a shot from a team-mate which was deflected past Wadey.
Minutes later Jenkins himself broke free inside the box and produced a classy finish to give Hunston the lead.
Mark Cooper had a golden chance to equalise but his header was glanced wide and the Hunston keeper saved well from sub Dan Warren.
Petworth now need Faygate to get at least a point at East Dean on Saturday to ensure they finish outside of the relegation zone.
PETWORTH: Wadey, Evans, Torode, Murray, Exall (Naldrett 80), Renshaw, Pafford, Cooper, Dillon, Wells (D Torode 80), Levett (Warren 70).