Littlehampton Football Club boss Ady Baker was left annoyed as his side slumped to a fourth consecutive Southern Combination League Premier Division defeat in succession on Saturday.
Jack Lee, Jamie Horncastle, Kieran Hartley and Ellis Martin all struck as high-flying Chichester City romped to an emphatic 4-0 victory.
Baker was without seven first-team regulars for the contest, while both Mitchell Hand and Jack Cole were forced off through injury in the first half as luck seemed to go against Littlehampton.
With Golds down to the bare bones, Baker could not fault the effort from his players on what was a frustrating day.
He said: “I can’t fault any of the players, they kept going on what was a difficult day. Injuries, suspensions and unavailability stacked up on Saturday and it was a tough game for us.
“I was without seven first-team players, then both Mitchell and Jack were injured in the first half. It was a real struggle.
“We limited them to very few chances and looked comfortable early on. Late in the half they scored from a couple of set-pieces and then that was it.
“Credit to the players, they kept going, but with no out-ball it became very difficult.
“Chichester are a decent team, with a very physical and direct approach. They were well-drilled and made it tricky for us.”
With an already makeshift side, disaster struck as both Mitchell Hand and Cole went off injured in the first 40 minutes.
Golds’ resilience was broken five minutes from the break with a sloppy goal. Chi centre-back Lee was left unmarked to head his side ahead.
Having not been at their best, City had a second right on the stroke of half-time.
Horncastle was the quickest to react as a free-kick came back out of a post to tap home.
The home side were then handed a chance to add a third on the hour. Following a fine challenge from Josh Bates, he handled the ball and Hartley slammed home the resulting spot-kick.
Martin rounded off the scoring four minutes later, as City ran out comprehensive winners.
Next up for Golds is a home clash with Broadbridge Heath, with Baker hopeful his side can turn around a recent dip in form.
He added: “We’ve been on a difficult run of late but once we can stick a full-strength team out I think we’ll be fine.
“We lost to Broadbridge Heath in a thrilling game earlier this season. I felt we played quite well that day and lost 4-3.
“Hopefully I’ll have some players back and available for Saturday and we return to winning ways. They are going well so we know it’s going to be another test.
LITTLEHAMPTON: Hutchings, Lofting, Farrell, Bates, McKay, Chaplin; D.Hand, Ashman, O’Connor, M.Hand; Cole. Subs: Kempson (M.Hand, 25), Burgess (Cole, 45), Askew.
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