Littlehampton Football Club boss Ady Baker felt a lacklustre start from his side cost them dear on Saturday.
Loxwood were quick out of the blocks as Michael Wood’s brace and Cecil Jee’s strike fired them three goals in front inside 30 minutes.
Golds did get themselves back into the game but with such a mountain to climb they eventually suffered a 4-2 defeat.
Baker felt his side were caught cold in the early stages but reserved high praise for Loxwood’s attacking prowess.
He said: “They were by far the best footballing team we have played this season.
“We were caught a little cold, they started with three at the back and it was something we weren’t expecting them to do.
“I think ultimately that start cost us but to our credit we stuck in the game and towards the end pushed on.
“It was a tough afternoon for us but I was really impressed with them.
“They’ve got a good mix of youth and experience, as I said earlier they were by far the best team we’ve played all season.”
Magpies were quick out of the blocks and found themselves two goals to the good inside seven minutes.
Wood opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock, before firing home a second four minutes later.
A tough opening half-hour for Golds was completed when Jee smashed home a third for Loxwood.
Littlehampton gave themselves some hope when George Gaskin struck a minute before the break to make it 3-1.
Magpies restored their three-goal cushion nine minutes after the break when Clyde Jacques slotted past Luke Hutchings.
Golds stuck to their task and Gaskin got his second on the hour to give them hope of getting back in it.
Gaskin was then hauled down with 20 minutes left to play with a spot-kick awarded. With a chance to complete his hat-trick, Gaskin’s penalty was saved by Jack Foyster in Loxwood’s goal.
Despite that miss, Golds kept pushing with Jack Cole seeing an effort come out of a post, while substitute Ross McKay saw two headers saved by Foyster.
Littlehampton travel to a resurgent Peacehaven & Telscombe on Saturday and Baker expects a tough test.
He added: “They’ve won three of their last four games, so they are in good form.
“We know it’s not going to be easy but we’ll go to them hoping to come away with all three points.
“If we can start at Peacheaven the way we finished the game at Loxwood, then hopefully we’ll be able to come away with a positive result. With the form they are in, I think a point would be a good return for us.”
LITTLEHAMPTON: Hutchings; Chaplin, D.Hand, Bates, Ball; O’Connor, Kempson, M.Hand; Gray, Gaskin, Cole. Subs: McKay (D.Hand), Janman (O’Connor), Lewis (Ball), Ashman, Kew.
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