The curse of Saltdean United continued on Saturday as an out-of-sorts Bexhill United slumped to a hugely disappointing 2-1 away defeat.
The 10-man Pirates conceded a goal in either half as they were beaten by third-bottom Saltdean for the third time this season.
Bexhill got off to a bad start in their latest Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two fixture, falling behind to what manager Marc Munday described as a “poor goal” on nine minutes scored by Michael Brown.
The visitors worked hard to get back into the match and Chris Cumming-Bart equalised on 31 minutes following a fine pass by Andy Garman. Cumming-Bart was Bexhill’s most dangerous player and had a couple of other similar opportunities where he was denied by the goalkeeper.
Bexhill spent the first 10 minutes of the second period attacking. Saltdean’s goalkeeper made a couple of saves and Bexhill also missed a couple of one-on-one chances.
But the visitors fell behind again on 57 minutes. Away goalkeeper Yankuba Camara dropped the ball from the second of two successive corners and defender Josh Elliott-Noye pulled down an opponent. The referee pointed to the spot and Ryan Bradley scored the ensuing penalty.
Although Elliott-Noye went close at the other end shortly afterwards, Bexhill were unable to put their opponents under any sustained pressure. Their cause wasn’t helped by the dismissal of Garman - Bexhill’s seventh red card of the campaign.
“It just looked like the two of them (Garman and a Saltdean opponent) were fronting each other up and I’ve been told he slapped him,” said Munday. “If he’s been sent-off for that he’s a fool and he’s let us down.
“The most disappointing bit was the reaction after the second goal. We were terrible after that. A draw wouldn’t have been good enough and you would think they (the players) would go out all guns blazing, but there was nothing. There was no energy to get the ball back and it looked to me not enough of them were caring.
“They’re a poor side and we should be beating teams like that four or five-nil, but we’ve been beaten by them. The scoreline doesn’t lie. Whether you agree with the penalty or whatever, we scored one goal and that’s not good enough.”
Bexhill: Camara, Cooper, Ottley (J. Clifford), Elliott-Noye, Cruikshank, J. Aston, Garman, Cumming-Bart, Shelton (T. Clifford), G. Aston, McMinigal (Wheeler).