The Reds made eleven changes from the side that defeated Scunthorpe United on Saturday with two trialists featuring in the starting line up and one on the bench - but it wasnt enough as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to National South side Maidstone at Horsham's Camping World Community Stadium.
It was the Reds who started the better of the two sides with Brian Galach looking sharp up front. Trialist A played a delightful lobbed ball over towards an agile Galach but as he lobbed the on-rushing goalkeeper he was deemed offside.
The Reds continued to dominate with the visitors finding it hard to string any clear cut chances together other than a couple of tame long range efforts that Tom McGill had no trouble dealing with in the Reds net.
The Reds almost found themselves ahead in the 25th minute, Trialist A did excellently to beat his man on the wing before squaring to Trialist B whose shot, that was heading on target, was excellently blocked by a Maidstone defender.
Galach and the trialists on either wing continued to work well together and find gaps in the Maidstone defence. Galach played a lovely ball through the middle of two defenders but it had too much pace and ran through to the goalkeeper.
The visitors almost took the lead just minutes later against the run of play. Elokobi played a wonderful cross field pass to the Maidstone trialist striker whose looping effort landed just wide of the target. This seemed to give the visitors more confidence going forward as they began to work some neat combinations together resulting in a late flurry of pressure but the Reds defence did well to shut out any immediate danger to see through the half.
The Reds started the second half as they began the first dominating possession. David Sesay who had moved out to left wing was troubling the Maidstone left back and beat his man early before crossing a dangerous looking ball into the box but his cross was just missed by the lunging Galach.
Sesay continued to cause problems for the Maidstone defence and was subsequently tripped in the box but with little appeal for a penalty from the Reds attack play was waved on by the referee.
The visitors had a good chance to take the lead after some early Reds pressure. Tom Dallison brought down a Maidstone trialist within shooting range. Number 7 struck a dangerous moving effort at goal but McGill did well to judge and handled comfortably.
Second half substitute Zaid Al-Hussani looked immediately sharp after coming on and almost gave the Reds the lead on the hour mark. The winger did brilliantly to cut inside of his man before firing at goal from the edge of the box but his effort was parried away to safety by the Maidstone goalkeeper.
Maidstone began to work themselves into the half just as they had done in the first. A flurry of corners were well dealt with by the Reds defence before McGill did excellently again to tip a long range effort that was heading into the top corner around the post.
The Reds had a great chance to take the lead with ten minutes remaining. Three second half substitutes Rafiq Khaleel, Kowalczyk and Al-Hussani were involved in the move. Khaleel slid in Kowalczyk who did brilliantly to take the ball past his man and make space for himself but unselfishly squared for Al-Hussani whose shot was tipped over the bar.
After more chances for both sides, the visitors scored late on with a good finish into the bottom left corner after a surging run forward.
Maidstone doubled their lead with the last kick of the game when Olutade twisted towards goal and fired into the bottom corner.
The Reds will travel to Oldham Athletic this Saturday in Sky Bet League Two action
Reds XI: McGill, Davies, Adebowale, McNerney, Dallison, Sesay, Allarakhia (Trialist C 75’), Hessenthaler, Trialist A (Al-Hussaini 55’) Trialist B (Khaleel 55’), Galach (Kowalczyk 65’).