Arundel Football Club joint manager Craig Stuart felt his side were hard done by in their Southern Combination League Premier Division 3-1 home defeat to Pagham on Monday.
Scott Murfin bagged a brace, while Kieron Pamment also netted to down their near neighbours.
Despite the scoreline, Stuart felt Mullets were the better team for large periods but defensive errors cost them dear.
He said: “For the large part of this game we were better, created more chances and deserved to take something from it.
“The difference was their ability to finish and wasted opportunities from us.
“It was really tough to take, it’s not often you come off after a defeat thinking you were better.
“It’s just a case of us sharpening up at the back and taking our chances, once we do that I’m sure a positive league run is around the corner.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to put this behind us and bounce back with another good performance in the FA Cup on Saturday.”
Murfin gave Pagham a dream start as he capitalised on some indecision at the back and then fired past James Fernandes on two minutes.
Mullets responded well and Barney Boutwood crashed an effort against the woodwork, while Harry Russell wasted a couple of glorious chances.
After being let off the hook, Murfin got on the end of Lewis Jenkins’ misplaced pass to bag his second 22 minutes after the break.
Pamment then notched six minutes later, following another wayward pass from Jenkins to make it 3-0.
A fine solo effort saw Dave Herbert beat four defenders then fire a 25-yard thunderbolt home but Pagham held on for a 3-1 success to take all three points.
Arundel welcome division-higher Southern League Central 1 side Egham Town in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday, before local rivals Littlehampton visit in the league on Tuesday.
ARUNDEL: Fernandes; N.DaCosta, Peake, Jenkins, S.Herbert; Jarvis. A.Biggs, Nicholson; Russell, D.Herbert, Boutwood. Subs: J.Biggs, Elder, Hunter, Jones, L.DaCosta.
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