ARUNDEL, East Preston and Clymping football clubs all suffered their first County League defeats of the season on Tuesday evening.
Mullets boss Gary Wheatcroft was pleased with his side after they lost a entertaining Division 1 game 4-2 at home to Redhill.
He said: "They are a very good side and will be in the top three this season.
"I was chuffed with the way we played, though, as we were without four players, and their keeper had a blinder.
"It could have been 6-6, or 7-6 to us as there was no way we deserved to lose. But the league's not lost because of this. There's still 36 games to go and we'll win a lot of them."
Redhill went ahead midway through the first half but Scott Tipper levelled just after half-time from a Gary Norgate cross.
Redhill regained their lead before Norgate, Tipper and Lewis Hamilton all had efforts saved by Redhill keeper Chris May.
They soon went 3-1 in front but Norgate got a goal back from a free kick, before Redhill added a fourth.
ARUNDEL: O'Connor; McCoy, D.Walker, Hall; Hamilton, Grove, Biggs, Coleman-Carr; Neighbour, Tipper, Norgate. Subs: Tewsley (Hamilton 80), Sneller, Turney, L.Walker.
In Division 2, East Preston went down 3-0 at Lancing.
EP went close when Scott Banfield fired wide before Darren Annis gave Lancers the lead on 35 minutes after Lee Garnham's shot had hit a post.
Annis doubled the lead early in the second half when he clipped the ball over EP keeper Maciek Kason and a deflected Chris Hibberd free kick made it 3-0 on 65 minutes.
Mark Burgess twice went close in the closing stages but was denied by excellent stops by Lancing keeper Matt Evans.
EAST PRESTON: Kason; Dixon, Stideford, Windsor, Sutcliffe; Rahaman, Campbell, Paine, Banfield; Howard, Burgess. Subs: McCloud, Alex (Paine, Rahaman 60), Blackwood (Dixon 84), Harris, Beaney.
Clymping lost 3-2 at Southwick in the same division after netting twice in the last 15 minutes.
Wickers moved into a three-goal lead with goals from Scott Hunt, Sam Cox and Toby Feest but Clymping set up a nervy finale for the home side with strikes from Rob Matthews and Craig Milner.
CLYMPING: Grafton; Howard, Shakton, G.Hotston, Millar; M.Robertshaw, Jarrett, Barnes, Aghaeze; Milner, R.Robertshaw. Subs: Matthews (R.Robertshaw 45), Childs, Spence, Barber, Parker.
Littlehampton suffered late heartbreak on Tuesday evening when Worthing United got an injury-time 4-3 winner in County League Division 2.
This had all the ingredients of a one goal bore in wet and windy conditions, but both sides played some good football.
Richard Ghent gave United a 14th-minute lead but Golds levelled on 25 minutes. Barney Boutwood pounced on a slip by Seb Di Paola to coolly slot home.
It looked for all the world that it would remain level until just three minutes from half-time when Golds' Dave Schneider missed his kick to allow Ghent in for his second of the match.
Just four minutes into the second half, Golds were level again after a long ball evaded the United defence and found Boutwood, who once again slotted home with confidence for his second.
United took the lead again on 58 minutes, but this time through skipper Joe Shelley, who appeared offside, as he side-footed home a Richard Moss centre. The lead lasted just three minutes as a hopeful chip from Schnieder found Nathan Peacock's head and the ball nestled in the far corner.
That appeared to be it for goals until three minutes into stoppage time when a needless foul by Jon Bennett gave Mitchell Hand the opportunity to swing one last free kick into the Littlehampton box. Shelley's header took the ball beyond a helpless Dave Gaskin and gave United all three points.
LITTLEHAMPTON: Gaskin; Crawford, Bennett, Young, Hazell; O'Hagan, Charman, Schnieder, Peacock; Boutwood, Wollers. Subs: Jarvis (Peacock 70), McKay (Crawford 74), Collander (Charman 86), Adedoja, Hellen.
Jason Wimbleton got Brett Torode's reign as Rustington manager off to a winning start on Saturday when he netted both goals in their 2-1 win at Storrington.
Tom Carter put Swans in front in the County League Division 2 clash on 60 minutes, but Wimbleton's header made it 1-1 on 65 minutes from a Chris Darwin cross.
Five minutes later, Wimbleton made it 2-1 from another Darwin cross and Blues then squandered chances to go further ahead through Andy Boxall and Ross Adams.
Torode said: "I felt we edged it and it was a good start to the season. Although we had to scrape the barrel for a team, we got the result we needed.
"A draw was probably fair, although we won so I can't complain. It's important to start the season the right way, and we've done that."
RUSTINGTON: McCarthy; Butcher, Neal, Bibb, Green; Boxall, Wimbleton, Jones, Bennett, Darwin; Adams. Subs: Matthews (Bennett 20), Heater (Jones 65), Sayers, Woodward.
Also in Division 2, Littlehampton won their opener 2-1 at Steyning Town.
Steyning went ahead on the stroke of half-time through Craig Walsh, who headed home from a corner.
Golds' Ben Crawford fired wide and Barney Boutwood lobbed over in the second half, before Gary Young, in his first match since stepping down as joint manager with John Suter, completed an incredible 80-yard run to fire home, following a Steyning corner.
Jason Jarvis, newly signed from Wick, hit what turned out to be the winner on 64 minutes.
Golds then had several chances to wrap the game up. Jarvis struck the post, Joe Charman shot wide, and Boutwood also fired wide from a Dave Gaskin long pass.
LITTLEHAMPTON: Gaskin; Crawford, Hazell, Young, Wollers; Charman, O'Hagan, Peacock, Hellen; Boutwood, Jarvis. Subs: Collander, Lawson, Schneider, Tabor.
Mark Burgess notched both goals for East Preston in their 2-2 draw at AFC Uckfield, formerly Wealden.
Clymping claimed a creditable 1-1 draw at Oakwood.
Marcus Robertshaw fired a youthful Clymping side ahead in the 12th minute and, after the same player had a effort ruled out, Thomas Familton equalised for Oakwood on 52 minutes.
Clymping chairman Frank Sumner said: "It was a good result in the circumstances, and a draw was a fair result.
"We had to throw the team together at the last minute so we're not disappointed with the result."
Up in Division 1, Arundel began life under new manager Gary Wheatcroft with a convincing 2-0 win over newly-promoted Sidley.
A Scott Tipper brace in the second half gave Mullets the points, although they could have won by a bigger margin. Wheatcroft said: "We had good possession, and the signs are very positive.
"They're a physical side and we didn't have a shot to save. We could have had more, but things are looking good and our squad is strong.
"I'm well chuffed and it's a great way to start the season. I've got confidence that we can do well."
ARUNDEL: O'Connor; McCoy, D.Walker, Hall; Hamilton, Grove, R.Biggs, Coleman-Carr, Neighbour; Tipper. Subs: Tewsley (Neighbour 87), Sneller, Griffiths, Turney, L.Walker.
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