Petersfield Town manager Connor Hoare rued his side’s luck after they lost 3-2 at Hythe & Dibden in the Wessex League Premier Division on Saturday.

Playing their second league game of the campaign, the Rams suffered the same fate as in their first – with a goal in the final few minutes denying them a share of the spoils.

Following last week’s demolition of Lymington in the extra preliminary round of FA Cup, the Rams went into the match in confident mood.

Although the Rams were missing Jack Farrier, the squad was boosted by midfielder Thomas Tierney – who had joined on a dual-registration from Horndean the day before – and the return from holiday of Kieran Alcock.

Hythe stared the better with some neat passing moves but they were lacking a real cutting edge. In contrast, the Rams looked more threatening when they went forward – so although it was against the run of play it was not a total surprise when they took the lead in the 23rd minute.

Charlie Merritt played in Ollie Davies, who weaved his way through the Hythe defence before firing a shot into the far corner. There was further joy for the Rams in the 30th minute when Harvey Aston’s pinpoint cross from the right was headed home by Merritt.

Despite these setbacks Hythe continued to enjoy more of the ball, but the Rams held firm to hold on to their two-goal advantage at the break.

The mood changed in the 51st minute when Johnnie Longmore went down injured during a Hythe attack. Play continued and ended with Luke Gray’s well-placed shot giving Rams keeper Jay Morris no chance.

Longmore was unable to continue, with Tierney coming on.

From this point on the Rams looked jittery, and it was no surprise when Hythe equalised in the 63rd minute through a looping header over Morris from Marcel Laptas.

The Rams had their moments in the second half with Davies proving to be their greatest threat, but the closest they went to scoring was in the 83rd minute when a clearance cannoned off onrushing forward Archie Greenough and went narrowly wide of the far post.

The Rams’ second-half misery was completed in the 87th minute when Grey fired home his second goal of the game.

“We were in control in the first half, but the game changed with Johnnie’s injury which led to Hythe’s first goal,” said Hoare.

“You can’t legislate for that – it is bad luck.”

Petersfield will entertain Bemerton Heath Harlequins in the preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday (3pm).