Shoreham Football Club boss Bryan O’Toole described Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat at Hassocks ‘a freak result’ on a night where everything went wrong for Mussels.
The Southern Combination League leaders went ahead through Rob O’Toole on 19 minutes but from then on it was a night to forget as they suffered their heaviest league defeat of the season.
Kevin Keehan was carried off with a foot injury, which could see him miss the rest of the season, before Niall O’Hagan went off with a hamstring injury moments later.
Rob O’Toole then suffered a nasty cut to his eyebrow in an aerial challenge and, while he was receiving treatment, Mussels defender Andy Pearson missed the ball and Liam Benson ran through to equalise.
A deflected effort from Jack Rowe-Hurst put Hassocks 2-1 ahead at half-time and a Ryan Storrie own goal then made it 3-1 early in the second half.
Within 60 seconds, Joe Keehan’s under-hit back-pass allowed Benson in for Hassocks’ fourth.
Shoreham remain two points clear of both Haywards Heath and Chichester, with 11 games left, and travel to Chi on Saturday.
Bryan O’Toole said: “It was just a freak result but for half-an-hour we were in total control. Rob had scored a fantastic goal and we should have gone 2-0 up when Richard Greenfield shot across goal, instead of passing to Rob. If we go 2-0 up, it’s a totally different story.
“From then on, it was just one thing after another. We lost Kev and Niall to injury and then Rob was caught in an aerial challenge and was on and off the pitch to stop the bleeding for most of the match.
“We then gifted them their equaliser and I think the shot for their second was going wide when it took a deflection and went in the other side of the goal.
“Ryan’s own goal made it 3-1 and their fourth came through a mistake by Joe but how often do I say that? Andy and Joe hardly ever make mistakes. Add in the own goal as well, and it’s just a freak result.
“We’ve already drawn a line under it and will move on and go to Chichester to get a result.
“If we win on Saturday, then this result is forgotten about.”
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