Ten-man Chichester City slipped to an opening-day 3-0 defeat to AFC Uckfield in Sussex League division one
at Oaklands Park, despite dominating much of the game.
Late strikes from substitute Chris Gould on 75 minutes and Andy McDowell on 88 ensured victory for the travelling contingent.
An injury-time penalty calmly dispatched by Uckfield captain Staford Brown compounded Chichester’s misery with goalkeeper Tom Boyle sent off for the foul.
City boss Adie Girdler believes his side deserved more from their league curtain-raiser against newly promoted Uckfield, and is disappointed in the manner in which they conceded.
Girdler said: “Our first-half performance was very poor and naive.
“But we played well in the second half and deserved more.
“Our naivety showed in the first two goals.
“We didn’t deserve it because we had most of the play in the second half, and I thought we were going to go on and win the game.
“After the break, we changed things around and we were controlling the game.
“But we gave them a bad first goal.
“It was bad defending from the wide players, who should have stopped the cross, and the centre-half, who just let the forward peel off him. It was kids’ football.”
Despite the defeat, Girdler remains confident Chichester can still have a decent season.
Girdler added: “I think we can end up top-half.
“It’s not going to be easy because we haven’t hit the ground running. I knew we weren’t quite ready, and that showed.”
Chichester have strengthened the squad this week by bringing in Louis Edwards this week.
Edwards started in City’s pre-season 4-4 draw against Paulsgrove two weeks ago and has been on the books of Blue Square South outfit Havant & Waterlooville.
CITY: Boyle, James, Wiggins, Walker, Al-Shantir, Doran, Briggs, Garvey, Turvey, Vassallo, Cotton.