After a first ever victory in the Emirates FA Cup at Erith & Belvedere two weeks previously, The Magpies secured a home tie against familiar opposition in divisional colleagues Arundel. As it happened this degree of familiarity wasn't to prove to be beneficial over the course of the afternoon.
Three changes were made to the side that started the midweek defeat to Shoreham: Sam Beard replaced Eddie French; Cecil Jee came in for the rested Toby House and Sam Smith returned in goal following the injury that kept him out the previous match.
The hosts only had themselves to blame for a poor start to the match when in the 7th minute Adam Williams' pass deep in his own half was intercepted and Dan Herbert took full advantage by advancing into the box before cooly slotting past Smith. This struggle to get their passing game going blighted the first 20 minutes of the game for the Magpies and it was more by fortune than anything else that the situation didn't get any worse in that time.
After weathering this period the hosts began to show some glimpses of getting a foothold in the game. Firstly on 20 minutes, Sam Beard cut in from the left flank and unleashed a curling effort from the corner of the area, but his shot was slightly too high and wide. 2 minutes later Beard was involved again, this time making good ground down the flank before delivering a deep cross to the far post where Olly Gill could only direct his header wide.
Regrettably it was another error that hindered Loxwood's progress. A long ball over the top of the defence in the 35th minute resulted in nobody taking control of the situation and as such Joel Colbran was drawn into a foul on the far right of the penalty area, which on another day could have been considered a penalty, and he was correctly booked for his troubles. As it transpired a clear goal scoring opportunity was presented anyway as the free kick was delivered Barney Boutwood at the far post who had more than enough time to bring the ball down before smashing it past Smith from close range to double the visitor's lead.
There was still time in the half for chances to be crafted to cut that lead though. Just three minutes after the goal, Jee got on the end of a cross with the goal at his mercy 8 yards out, but couldn't sort his feet out quick enough to get a clean shot away. In the 42nd minute a quick clearance from Smith set Beard away again. He advanced on goal, but his cross-cum-shot only managed to evade everyone, including the far post. The final chance of the half fell again to Jee. Gill showed excellent vision to set him through on goal, but with only the goalkeeper to beat, a heavy touch saw the chance go as quickly as it arrived.
Jee so nearly secured a better result with the first chance of the second half. His shot from a tight angle on the right deflected up off the blocking defender and despite evading the 'keeper, the ball came back off the bar and the rebound didn't fall kindly. This signalled a far more responsible performance in the second half from The Magpies, however, Arundel had already secured the valuable lead and as such could afford to sit back and deny space in and around their penalty area and with it make clear chances difficult to come by.
In the 69th minute, Tom Summerfield made an all too rare drive to the by-line and he was rewarded with the space from which he delivered a pin-point cross to the far post where Gill was waiting. The midfielder will have hoped to have done better by directing his header downwards, however, it still took an excellent save from James Fernandes in the Arundel goal to ensure the cleansheet was kept intact.
Unfortunately that was as clear an opportunity as The Magpies were able to create in the second half as frustration grew and with it came bookings for Beard and Jacques as a result. When the final whistle came the mood was as sombre as expected with all firmly in the knowledge that an opportunity had been missed.