Little Common’s footballers were beaten by Rustington for the second successive weekend.
Having lost 5-2 at the Recreation Ground 11 days ago, Common went down 2-1 in the reverse fixture on Saturday despite taking a first minute lead through Steve Morris.
“I was bitterly disappointed with the result,” said Common player-manager Russell Eldridge, who although not one to look for excuses, described the referee’s performance as ‘extremely poor’. “I didn’t necessarily think we deserved to lose.
“It was a better performance than the week before. In terms of effort and desire it was much-improved, but still not good enough in terms of where we want to be and what we’re capable of.”
Common got off to the ideal start in their first Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two away fixture since August 23.
The ball was cut back for Morris - the division’s joint highest scorer - to scramble home his eighth league goal of the season from inside the six-yard box.
The visitors failed to capitalise on the goal, however, as they were behind inside a quarter-of-an-hour. Rustington got back on level terms when Tom Baker came inside and fired in a shot at the near post, although Eldridge felt Common could have defended a bit better.
Rustington - who are three points and three places below Common - went ahead soon afterwards as Baker turned his man from a ball into the box before scrambling the ball home for his third goal against Common in eight days.
Zack McEniry headed against Rustington’s crossbar and another Common header went just wide in the main incidents during the remainder of the first half.
Common didn’t really get going as much as they would have hoped in the second half. Although they had a couple of long range efforts and piled on the pressure in the closing stages, the ball didn’t fall for Common and they couldn’t quite conjure up an equaliser.
Rustington had a couple of moments of their own as they took advantage of the space afforded to them by Common pushing forward, but Baker’s first half double was enough to clinch their third win over Common in 2014 having also triumphed in the corresponding fixture last season.
Common: Cruttwell, Sherwood (Tudor), McEniry, Smith, R. Mote, Denny (Bristow), Eldridge, Feakins, Hudson (Brown), Morris, Hole.