Eastbourne United manager Paul Daubeney admitted his side simply were not at the races as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat against Wick at the Oval.
Wick powered into a 2-0 lead as United struggled to find their early season form that propelled them to second in the County League Two table.
Anders Wyatt and Ross Adams were on target for the visitors with the goals arriving in the 17th and 23rd minute.
United played better after the break and pulled one back when Liam Baitup converted a penalty after debutant striker Drew Grenall was fouled in the box.
Wick almost added a third near the end but their effort thudded back off the post.
A disappointed Paul Daubeney said, “We just were not at the races today. They wanted it more than us.”