ARUNDEL Football Club’s three-game winning run came to an end when they exited the FA Vase at home to Phoenix Sports on Saturday.
The Mullets fell behind after just a minute when Lloyd Walker put through his own net following a James Fernandes penalty save.
Phoenix then netted a second early in the second period through Yacin Gnahore as Arundel slipped to defeat against their Southern Counties East League opponents.
Arundel boss Simon Butler felt the better side won on the day and said: “It was really disappointing to lose out in the FA Vase first round.
“We did not match the same performance level that we have reached in our previous games and lost out.
“I felt that if we had played as we have done in previous weeks, we would have been more than a match for them but it just was not to be.
“After we went a goal behind so early on I felt it was really difficult for us to recover and it took a while to get into the match.
“We had a couple of chances in the first half and could have been level but we didn’t manage to score and once they got that second goal it was all over, really.
“I think the occasion of playing in the FA Vase first round may have got to the players but it was disappointing not to win.
“It was a shame as we just did not get going early on in the game and that may well have cost us.”
The game did not start well for the hosts as they conceded a penalty in the first minute.
James Fernandes pulled off a fine save from the spot-kick but Walker put the rebound into his own goal.
Arundel nearly levelled on 20 minutes when Rory Biggs went on a mazy run but his shot was saved by the Phoenix goalkeeper.
Scott Tipper then almost levelled when he headed a Jordan Clark free kick goalwards but his effort went just wide of the post.
Phoenix made the brighter start in the second period and doubled their advantage nine minutes after the break thanks to Gnahore.
Arundel went in search of a way back into the game in the closing stages but could not find the net as they exited the competition.
ARUNDEL: Fernandes; N.Da Costa, Bibb, Walker, Peake; L.Da Costa, Clark, A.Biggs, R.Biggs; Tipper, Boutwood. Subs: Thoms (Peake), Gardner (R.Biggs), J.Biggs, Grove, Mannings (L.Da Costa.
n Arundel entertain Hassocks in County League Division 1 on Saturday.