Bexhill United Football Club joint manager Ryan Light admitted defeat in the team's opening league game of the season on Saturday was tough to take.
Bexhill's new-look young side produced a terrific performance and felt hard done to have lost 2-1 away to Oakwood side which finished in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One last term.
Light said: "The defeat was a little bit hard to swallow because we did play so well. A draw was the very least we deserved. I'm disappointed about the result, but very excited about the performance and what's to come from the squad we've got."
Oakwood edged the possession, but Bexhill fashioned far more of the chances during a first half which ended level at 1-1.
Bexhill went behind after just seven minutes when a bit of a mix-up between defender Ashley Kidman and goalkeeper Dan Rose allowed Jack McNab to half-volley into the top corner.
Oakwood passed the ball well, but Bexhill gradually worked their way into the game and equalised with a fantastic goal shortly before half time. Kidman picked up the ball inside the centre circle and beat two players before firing into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
Bexhill dominated the second half, but Oakwood grabbed what proved to be the winner from a rare attack up the slope. McNab scored his second with a powerful drive from the edge of the box at the end of an Oakwood break from a Bexhill corner.
Bexhill continued to boss the play, yet an equaliser proved elusive. A Craig Ottley free kick which was heading for the top corner was kept out by a stunning save, Corey Wheeler and Jacob Shelton had chances, and a couple of strong penalty appeals were turned down.
"It was a wonderful advert for the division between two excellent footballing sides," added Light. "The Oakwood manager said 'you've got one hell of a side there, that's the best Bexhill side I've ever faced'."
Bexhill: Rose; Robertson, McFarlane, Kidman, Ottley; Gouet, B. Trickett, Giles (Olujobi), Cuddington (Holden), Wheeler; Barden (Shelton). Subs not used: Butchers, A. Trickett.
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 this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
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!