Chichester City boss Miles Rutherford is calling on his side to learn from their mistakes as they adapt to life at Step Four.
The newly-promoted Oaklands Park side had a topsy-turvy start to life in the Isthmian South East.
Chi and their supporters were jubilant after a 250 mile round trip to Ramsgate for opening day last weekend when they picked up all three points.
But they very quickly learned how hard life will be at the new level when they were cruelly denied a point at home to Whyteleafe in midweek, as the visitors scored late on to win 3-2.
Chi’s attention now turns to the FA Cup and a trip to Southern Counties East Division One side Bridon Ropes tomorrow (3pm).
Victory in the preliminary round is worth £2,890 to the club – before Chi return to league action on Monday with a Sussex derby at Burgess Hill Town (3pm).
Speaking after the loss to Whyteleafe, Rutherford said:
“The FA Cup is a big opportunity for the players to put this defeat behind them. It’s a massive game for the club so we need to be prepared.”
Things couldn’t have begun any better for the home side against Whyteleafe in midweek when they went ahead early on after Ricardo Thompson diverted a Rob Hutchings’ cross past his own keeper.
The visitors bagged an equaliser 20 minutes. But it was the hosts who regained the lead five minutes before half time as Scott Jones got a glancing header on a ball whipped in by captain Connor Cody.
Into the second half and the visitors drew level again before spurning a golden chance to take the lead when they missed a penalty.
Chi thought they would escape with a point until Ben Pashley diverted a cross into his own goal with two minutes to go.
“We got what we asked out of the boys in the way of effort and commitment, I couldn’t fault them for that.
“We worked hard but came up against a very fit and physical opponent.
“I’ve told the lads, though, we have to learn from the match, we must have given away about 20 free kicks in dangerous areas and all three of their goals came from set pieces.
“We’re still learning at this level but it’s those finer details that make all the difference the higher you go.”
Two games into the Isthmian League South East Division season Chi have proved they’ll be able to hold their own at the level and Rutherford is satisfied with the start.
For the handful of fans that made the long trip to the Kent coast last weekend there was plenty to be pleased with.
Two Matt Axell goals – the second a late penalty – secured victory against a side who finished in mid-table last term.
Rutherford said: “I think if someone had said after two games we’d have three points I’d have taken it.
“Would we have liked to have had four having come so close to getting a draw on Tuesday? Yes, but that’s football.”