The Magpies went into Saturday's game with a determination to get things back on track after the midweek defeat to Pagham. They welcomed back Joel Colbran after missing Tuesday's match and Scott Harris made his full debut as he replaced Ross Swaine, whilst Gary Pritchard came into the starting line-up for the absent Alfie Gritt. It was Pritchard that was at the centre of the first (but certainly not the last) flash-point of the game when he appeared to be fouled in the area in the 7th minute but the appeals were waved away. Uckfield could well have had the lead moments later though when dwelling on the ball in the area presented Matt Maclean with a sight of goal but he lashed the effort wide, much to the home side's relief.
The shape of the game would all change in the 11th minute though. Some poor play on the left by the Magpies enabled the Uckers to quickly put Hassan Ibrahim through on goal and when 'keeper Sam Smith misjudged his challenge as he swiftly came out of his area in an attempt to snuff out the danger he left the referee with little choice but to brandish the red card. Pritchard was the sacrificial lamb to enable substitute goalkeeper Brendan Milborrow to come on to make his competitive debut for the club.
The Magpies were struggling to reassert themselves on the game what with being a man down and soon enough the visitors made their numerical advantage pay when a lofted ball into the box from George Taggart in the 25th minute found Maclean rising between two defenders before neatly directing his header over Milborrow and into the net. The lead could well have been doubled moments later but Bailo Camara's goal-bound, flicked header was expertly turned away by the substitute 'keeper to ensure that the damage was limited to just the one goal at the break.
Milborrow had to be at his best again moments into the second half when this time Taggart went for goal himself with a curling effort that looked to be heading inside the far post before the tall stopper intervened with a fingertip save. The resulting corner proved telling though when Camara's mishit delivery was reacted to quickest by Richie Welch who prodded home at the near post to double the visitors' lead.
The Magpies were having to gamble in an attempt to salvage anything from the game, but over-ambition in the backline proved to be fatal as it allowed a simple ball over the top to put Ibrahim in the clear and he duly slotted the ball inside the far post to effectively kill the game. That didn't prevent Ibrahim from collecting a red card for a needless off-the-ball challenge on Jordan Warren and offering a late glimmer of hope to the hosts, but the damage had already been done and little else was created by either side and the game petered out into a thoroughly uninspiring afternoon for the Magpies, which they will look to get over when they visit Worthing United in just 3 days time.