Andy Goodchild said he was particularly disappointed with Hailsham’s exit from the Sussex Senior Cup on Saturday because he was expecting a lot more from his side against hosts Arundel.
The Mullets took an early lead through Rory Biggs before Nathan Dacosta doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time. Drew Greenall halved that lead five minutes after the break but Scott Tipper made it 3-1 to the hosts eight minutes afte r that.
Steve Dallaway gave Town some hope with a goal 20 minutes from time but a Russell Hardwell strike five minutes from time sealed it.
Joint Hailsham boss Goodchild said: “It was a disappointing result from a game we had expected a more positive outcome from, considering previous strong performances against stiffer opposition. We were below par, we started slowly and didn’t play with the intensity of previous games first half.
“Danny’s (Andrews) sending off with a converted penalty on 11 minutes was less than helpful. While I can’t dispute that I did feel, along with others, that the build-up from a 50-yard cross field diagonal was offside.
“But what’s more frustrating is that the referee missed an obvious penalty when Olly Davis was bought down in the box by their keeper five minutes later. He must have been the only person in the ground not to have clearly seen contact, maintaining it was a dive in which case the player should have been cautioned for simulation.
“Poor decisions like these alter the course of games hugely. Whilst you make your own luck, I long for a game when we get the rub of the green as they have been non-existent so far this season.”
But he added: “I felt we regrouped and got back towards our best second-half, dominating for large periods, an achievement in itself with only 10 men.
“We clawed back two goals and at 3-2 we had the momentum, until 10 minutes from time when a poor misplaced pass gave them the opening for the fourth.
“But if truth be told, although a win would’ve been nice, points from our next two league games are far more a priority. Next is our last game from three months on the road which has crucified us every Saturday.”
Town visit Chi tomorrow before hosting Lancing the Saturday after (November 2).