Pagham 1-3 Three Bridges.
After all the excitement against Carshalton, the Lions roar turned into a whimper as they were almost outplayed in the first half at Nyetimber Lane by Three Bridges.
As the visitors had spent last season in Ryman League South, their class told in the end, but not without a late fightback by the Lions.
Building a 3-0 lead by half time, the visitors were never in danger of losing this game.
With all the heroics in the Cup on Saturday behind them, Richie Hellen & Tom Simmonds were hoping for a chance to catch up in the league.
That hope lasted all of three minutes, 'Bridges Tyrone Berry's run and shot giving James Binfield little chance in the Lions goal.
The Lions kept at it though, with a superb cross ball on 11 minutes creating an opening that Pagham couldn't finish off.
A laughable shot over the bar from Jamie Crelin was just the precursor to Three Bridges second goal. Jake Hawker, who some thought lucky to stay on the pitch, upended T'Jay Johnson in the area, and referee Mr Barrow pointed to the spot. Up stepped Connor French to strike home a deserved second.
It wasn't long before goal number 3 arrived, a long range shot from Lee Hall eluding Binfield.
Ten minutes before the break, and the management decided it was time for a change, off came Andy Chick & Jake Hawker, with George Bingham & Johan Van Driel coming on.
A Lions' free-kick almost paid dividends with Lloyd Rowlatt striking into the wall before the rebound found its way to Terrell Lewis who hit over.
George Bingham was taken out on 38 minutes, his run curtailed just as he got into his stride. A booking for 'Bridges Berry ended what had been very much a learning curve for the Lions.
No changes at the break, and the half began with a blistering run from Pagham's Joe Kilhams. The youngster has been one of the brightest lights in the Lions side this season, and his sorties down the wing all through the second half kept the 'Bridges right-back busy.
Two minutes in and the Lions were denied what looked a penalty. Callum Overton flew into the area, was bundled over, but the match officials were having none of it
Lee Hall went in on James Binfield a few minutes later, Binfield easily taking the ball from Hall's feet.
The hour mark bought Pagham's goal, from the unlikely source of Joe Booker's head. A cross from the right saw Booker having space and time to score past Keiron Thorp in Bridges goal.
From the restart Moses Ashikooi parted Pagham's defence before shooting well over.
Andy Somo also missed the mark as the visitors started shooting on sight.
Action at the other end saw Terrell Lewis go close more than once. Despite Pagham's best efforts in the second half, they couldn't quite get the second goal that would have had 'Bridges on the ropes and in the end, the first half an hour cost the Lions dearly.
Pagham; J.Binfield, J.Hawker, J.Kilhams, N.Murfin, J.Booker, J.Horncastle, L.Rowlatt, A.Chick, C.Overton, S.Murfin, T.Lewis; A.Ansa-Mcintyre, G.Cody, D.Crouch, G.Bingham, J.Van Driel
Three Bridges; K.Thorp, L.Collins, M.Whitehead, J.Lansdale, J.Crelin, B.Peters, N.Crabb, L.Hall, C.French, T.Johnson, T.Berry; N.Hilaire, A.Somo,M.Ashikooi, M.Casselman