Rustington Football Club boss Jon Tucker praised his side’s performance after a 2-0 defeat at Bosham on Saturday.
The match was Tucker’s first back as Blues boss and SCFL Division 2 leaders Bosham struck twice in quick succession just past the hour mark to progress.
Tucker said: “To be fair to the players, they were exceptional. I had only 12 fit lads available and they did everything I asked of them and worked so hard.
“We went in 0-0 at half-time and were then brilliant for the first 15 minutes of the second half but they scored two quick goals and that’s football.”
Rustington’s Gavin Heater smashed a shot against the bar and Liam Waller had a couple of half-chances in the first half.
Blues keeper Andy McCarthy made one excellent save and Bosham also had a couple of half-chances before the break.
The hosts went ahead through Alex Barnes following a left-wing cross and Oliver Gilbert then quickly got the second when a clearance from inside his own half bounced over McCarthy, who was looking into the sun and into the net.
Rustington host the only other side without a point in Division 2, Ferring, on Saturday and Tucker said: “We’ll work hard in training this week and will hopefully have James Bennett, Dale Campbell and Gareth Challen available.
“It’s a big game and is already a six-pointer this early in the season. It’s going to be tough as there’s never an easy game in this league but hopefully we can get a win to kick-start our season.”
RUSTINGTON: McCarthy; Harvey, MacIver, Barnes, Miles; Rowland, Clayton, Heater; Sassi, L.Waller, Walkling. Subs: Hurst (Miles 70), Lineham, Smile.
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