Crawley Down Gatwick manager Paul Cooper praised newcomer Ryan Taylor for making a promising start and was proud of his ‘Superb’ players efforts against high-flying Littlehampton.
He said: “With nine players missing, travelling away to a top-three side was always going to be a task in itself, even if we had a full squad available.
“The lads involved though were superb. Ryan Taylor had two great chances in the first half to score himself and if even one had gone in, the result really could have been different.
“It was Ryan’s his first full 90 minutes in County One, however and he is a young lad on a learning curve – so although he is disappointed to have not taken them, next time I have confidence he will tuck it away.
“We kept them to just two solitary goals, one from a corner where Joe Shelley pops up as he does, but was easily avoidable.
“The lads are beginning to take on board what is asked of them and we are making steps forward which is positive. I am proud of the efforts our lads are putting in each week and 100% believe a win is around the corner.”
The outstanding Blair Cooney set-off on a charge before being halted, followed by centre-back partner Owen Roberts having an early free-kick cleared.
The Golds themselves went close when the talented and hard-working George Landais had a cross rattle the bar.
More pressure was building and on 13 minutes the Anvil backline was finally breached when Landais seized on a Joe Shelly cross to open the home side’s account.
Littlehampton were held back by a combination of the efforts of the Crawley Down defence and several offside decisions.
The Anvils fought hard to limit them to just a single goal as the half ended.
Littlehampton’s George Landais crept in on the blind side to nod over as their supporters became restless.
They had to wait until 64 minutes for relief when a Landais shot hit Roberts for a corner and Shelly nipped in to tuck the ball home.
Changes on both benches with Anvils’ hard working Grant Rigler being replaced by Martin Mutungi and Andy Goodwin by Terry Regan as the Anvils pushed hard to try and get something from the game as conditions underfoot became more difficult.
Several times the Anvils were opened up but they managed to hack it away with their tired limbs.
Down: Greaves, Cooney, Domoraud, Day, Roberts, Read, Goodwin (Regan), Taylor, Regan, Thomas, Rigler (Martin Mutungi)
Unused sub: Neale
Man of the Match: Blair Cooney