Lakeside boss Kelvin Tatum conceded his side were “second best” as they went down 57-32 at Plymouth.
The Vortex Hammers were well beaten on a tough night at the St Boniface Arena as they met a Devils’ side in fine form on home shale.
The Purfleet outfit were forced to contend with a number of rider absences and tricky track conditions.
And Tatum admits they simply never got going on what was another night to forget on their travels.
“It was a very disappointing night,” Tatum said. “The track was tricky early on and needed a bit of work, and the track improved but we didn’t.
“We were second best all meeting, Plymouth deserved their victory and we were frustrated we couldn’t do better.
“We were missing a few riders so it was never going to be easy, but our guests did a solid job and we can’t really have too many excuses.”
Guests Tom Bacon and Ben Wilson fought admirably to offer the bulk of the Hammers’ resistance, whilst Alfie Bowtell also put in a typically determined display.
But experienced skipper Paul Hurry endured a tough night, whilst Nick Laurence, Alex Spooner and Connor Locke also struggled to make an impact.
The Hammers will be back in action as they host Stoke at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Sunday (3pm).
Steve Boxall 14+1, Adam Roynon 13+1, Henry Atkins 9+2, Benji Compton 8, Richard Andrews 6+3, Callum Walker 4+2, Jamie Halder 3+2.
Tom Bacon 9, Ben Wilson 8, Alfie Bowtell 7+1, Paul Hurry 4, Nick Laurence 2+1, Alex Spooner 2, Connor Locke 0.
National League points: Plymouth 3 Lakeside 0
Image: Paul Hurry Credit Anticlockwise Photography