Bob Paine believes his young East Preston Football Club side will need to adapt after being held to a Southern Combination League Division 1 draw at home to Southwick on Monday.
After falling behind to a Andy McDowell spot-kick a minute before the break, Jared Rance bagged a leveller soon after the restart but the points were shared in a 1-1 draw.
Heading into the encounter, Paine’s side had a perfect start in the league with three successive victories.
However, EP’s boss believes failure to break down a well-drilled side is something they will have to learn from.
He said: “You are not going to win every game and this was a tough day for us.
“We didn’t play well in the first half but improved in the second.
“Southwick were well organised, frustrated us and tried to catch us on the counter.
“We are still a very young side and need to adapt when teams set-up like this against us.
“It could be something that happens more and more as the season goes on, so it’s vital we find ways to get through teams when it’s like this.
“We’ve probably learned more in these 90 minutes than we have in every game combined in the league this season.”
Despite a lacklustre opening 45 minutes, Dan Huet so nearly put the home side ahead on 30 minutes.
His crisp-drive looked destined for the bottom corner but it struck a post and stayed out.
Ben Purkis fouled a Wickers attacker a minute before the interval and a penalty was awarded.
McDowell made no mistake from the spot as EP found themselves behind for the first time this season.
Paine saw his side respond almost immediately as Rance levelled things up on 48 minutes.
Lukas Franzen-Jones became the second EP player to be denied by a post as it ended 1-1.
Paine saw his side cruise to an emphatic 4-0 home success just two days earlier against Billingshurst.
Craig Grantham put through his own net on 28 minutes, before Rance, Joshua Parazo and substitute Connor Bull all netted in the second half.
Paine was a little frustrated with his side’s showing in the first 45 minutes and said: “I was disappointed with our first half performance although we came in one up.
“In the second half we were on top of our game and played some great football.
“The matches are coming thick and fast now, which is not something some of these young players are used to, so we will see how they cope with the number of games that we have coming up.”
EAST PRESTON v Southwick: Purkis; Josh Parazo, Jacob Parazo, Hallett, Lyne, Hardman, Rance, J.Barnes, Huet, Franzen-Jones, Hunter. Subs: Beaney (Jacob Parazo), Mottershead (Hallett), D.Barnes (Huet), Gilbertson, Witten.
v Billingshurst: Purkis; Josh Parazo, Jacob Parazo, Witten, Lyne, Hardman, Rance, Barnes, Huet, Franzen-Jones, Smith. Subs: Bull (Smith), Mottershead (Witten), Beaney (Jacob Parazo), Brown, Hallett.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LittlehamptonGazette
3) Follow us on Twitter @LhamptonGazette
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Littlehampton Gazette - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.