Bexhill United suffered back-to-back league defeats for the first time since September.
The Pirates went down 3-1 away to Wick & Barnham United in what at the start of play was a Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two second versus third encounter.
Bexhill drew level with around 15 minutes remaining, but conceded twice thereafter as Wick became the first side to do the double over them this season.
“A draw probably would’ve been a fair result from a poor game,” said Bexhill manager Marc Munday. “We had more of the ball I would’ve said for about 75 minutes without really creating anything, but having got back into it, to give a goal away almost straight after they kicked off was disappointing.”
Munday’s plans were disturbed when Scott McDonald pulled out injured the previous evening and Jamie Crone didn’t turn up, meaning Bexhill were without the two strikers Munday planned to start the game with.
Kevin Barden and Jacob Shelton - who has returned to the club where he was the leading scorer last season - filled the attacking spots instead despite having had little game time of late.
In fact, the same could be said of Bexhill in general because several players were playing their first matches of 2015 having missed the trip to Midhurst & Easebourne three weeks previously.
A Wick side which has lost just twice in the league all season - one of which was away to Bexhill’s neighbours Little Common - took an early lead when Ash Harper took advantage of being unmarked at the far post.
After that there wasn’t a great deal of goalmouth incident until Toby Clifford came off the bench to equalise for Bexhill with a free kick from around 35 or 40 yards which sailed over the goalkeeper into the roof of the net.
Clifford said he meant it, Munday wasn’t so sure, but either way it was only the 14th goal Wick have conceded in 18 league games, the best record of anyone in the division.
Wick soon regained the lead, however, when a mishit shot by Joe Matthews evaded Yankuba Camara in the away goal. “It was a poor goal,” said Munday.
Munday felt the final few minutes were the only time Wick spent attacking and the hosts added a third goal with virtually the last kick of the game. A Dan Cox free kick almost went under the wall and spun in.
Bexhill: Camara; Cooper, G. Aston, Cruikshank, Elliott-Noye; Garman, J. Aston, Cumming-Bart, Wheeler (Clifford); Barden, Shelton. Sub not used: Ottley.