Three goals in the space of seven second half minutes condemned Little Common Football Club to a 3-0 defeat at Saltdean United on Saturday.
The Commoners produced a much-improved performance, but were once again punished for their mistakes while unable to make the most of the opportunities that arose at the other end.
Common carved out the better of the opportunities during an even opening quarter of the Southern Combination League Premier Division fixture.
Wes Tate’s shot on the turn just trickled wide of the far post before the same player was unable to guide a header beyond the home goalkeeper from a Russell Eldridge free kick.
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The home side did create opportunities of their own, with Ben Bacon seeing an effort palmed to safety before Curtis Gayler’s fiercely driven free kick was well saved by Matt Cruttwell.
Cruttwell was on hand again to deny Jamie Brotherton with his feet before pushing a long range drive round the post. Tate saw a cleverly executed lob fall just wide of the post and the match remained goalless at half time.
Common started the second period on the front foot and enjoyed a good spell of possession. They almost took the lead when Leon Greig delivered a delightful ball into the area and Lewis Hole saw his effort rebound back off the crossbar.
Saltdean opened the scoring after an hour when Sam Willett’s late challenge prompted the referee point to the penalty spot and Brotherton stroked the ball home.
Common conceded a second almost immediately from their own kick-off. Brotherton wrestled himself into the box before pulling the ball across the goal for Toby House to tap home and give the Commoners a mountain to climb.
The third goal arrived five minutes later when a dubious free kick was awarded against Kane Penn and Bacon rose unmarked to head home from close range.
The Commoners continued to look for an opening of their own and Saltdean were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men following a nasty lunge on the edge of the Common area, but the referee claimed that he was unsighted.
Common substitute Nick Richardson saw an effort drift wide of the post and Chris Cumming-Bart’s low drive was saved by the Saltdean goalkeeper’s feet.
Common: Cruttwell, Greig, Parsons (Maynard), Ward, Willett, Eldridge, Tate (Francis), Penn, Hole (Richardson), Crone, Cumming-Bart.
Common will again be on their travels tomorrow (Tuesday) night when they visit Peacehaven & Telscombe.