We’ll recover – Chichester City boss’ vow after Three Bridges end unbeaten league start
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Three Bridges won Tuesday night’s second-versus-first Isthmian League south east division clash 1-0 thanks to a 56th minute goal by Noel Leighton.
City had a penalty saved late in the first half and could not reach the heights that had brought them four wins and a draw in their opening five league games.
The loss – their first since their temporary move to Bognor’s Nyewood Lane for home matches – means they slip a place to third in the table, but they are still in an excellent position with games in hand on many sides around them.
Rutherford’s men will look to put the setback behind them when they head for another Sussex derby – at East Grinstead – on Saturday, then go to SCFL premier side Newhaven in the Sussex Senior Cup next Tuesday.
Rutherford said: “I think if we’d scored the penalty, we wouldn’t have lost. I’m not necessarily saying we;d have won, but I don’t think we’d have lost if we’d gone 1-0 up a few minutes before half-time.
"There was nothing in the game and a draw would have been a fair result.
"We didn’t play that if I’m honest.
"Three Bridges worked hard for the result and we now need to lick our wounds and kick on.
"It wasn’t the best football match you could wish to see. We weren’t very good – but we weren’t awful.
"I think what we know from the early part of the season is the sides who work hard every week will be the ones at the top of the table. That’s what we have to do.”
City do have a few injury problems at present and midfielder Seok-Jae Lee came off in the second half on Tuesday with a shoulder injury that needs assessment.
Rutherford and co have also been without midfielder Lloyd Rowlatt and forwards Kaleem Haithham and Josh Clack.
The manager said he hoped to have Haitham and Clack available again within a fortnight but Rowlatt was likely to be a longer-term absentee.