Little Common were beaten by the new Sussex County Football League Division Two leaders last night (Tuesday).
The Commoners went down 3-0 away to Eastbourne United AFC with all of the goals coming during a second half in which Common also had their goalkeeper sent-off.
Although Common had scored 13 goals in winning their previous three league games, it was always going to be a tough ask against an Eastbourne side which reached the last 32 of the FA Vase at the weekend by winning away to Combined Counties League Premier Division leaders South Park.
The two teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in September’s reverse fixture and there was again nothing to separated them as they reached half time level at 0-0 in the return match. In fact, Common looked fairly comfortable apart from the odd scare.
But Matt Maclean gave United a 55th minute lead after Common failed to clear a corner, and fourth-placed Common’s task went from difficult to virtually impossible when Wes Tate made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after away goalkeeper Cameron Smith was dismissed for a foul.
Common defender Zack McEniry took over the gloves - not for the first time this season - but couldn’t prevent Linton Rogers adding an 86th minute third goal for an Eastbourne team now boasting 38 points from a possible 45.
Common: C. Smith, Cooper, Mote, Eldridge, Ammoun, McEniry, Cruttwell, Morris, Hole, McMinigal, Lusted. Subs: Denny, Crone, Richardson, Buckley, Farrence.
Sussex Division Two top seven (played-points): 1 Eastbourne United AFC 15-38, 2 Haywards Heath Town 17-37, 3 Loxwood 16-35, 4 LITTLE COMMON 18-32, 5 Broadbridge Heath 15-31, 6 Steyning Town 15-26, 7 BEXHILL UNITED 17-23.