There was to be no happy homecoming as Rye United suffered an FA Vase hangover on Wednesday night.
The Quarterboys went down 2-1 at home to Hassocks in the first match to be played at The Salts this season following the arson attack which destroyed the Sidney Allnutt Pavilion in August.
Rye got off to the worst possible start by conceding in the first 30 seconds, but levelled the Sussex County Football League Division One fixture through Jack Dixon’s 20th minute header.
Dixon then rattled the crossbar and Paul Tuppenney also struck the frame of the goal from a free kick that was no doubt intended as a cross, while Danny Ellis was narrowly off target as Rye ended the first half well on top.
They never got going after the break, though, and Hassocks went back in front when Rye were caught out by a short corner in the 77th minute. Ellis struck the post and bar in injury time to sum up Rye’s night.
A full report and reaction will appear in Friday’s Rye Observer.
Standings (played-points): 1 Three Bridges 20-49, 2 Crawley Down 18-45, 3 Pagham 24-43, 4 Peacehaven & Telscombe 23-40, 5 Hassocks 23-37, 6 Chichester City 21-34, 7 Redhill 21-33, 8 Selsey 24-33, 9 RYE UNITED 15-32, 10 East Grinstead Town 18-32, 11 Arundel 20-30, 12 Crowborough Athletic 25-30, 13 Wick 23-28, 14 SIDLEY UNITED 23-27, 15 Ringmer 23-27, 16 Hailsham Town 21-23, 17 Shoreham 23-21, 18 St Francis Rangers 20-16, 19 Lingfield 19-16, 20 Eastbourne United AFC 22-6.