Little Common Football Club produced a good first half, but poor second as it was knocked out of the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.
The Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One leaders were beaten 4-1 in their first round tie at home to an AFC Uckfield Town side lying fourth-bottom of the Premier Division on Tuesday night.
Common player-manager Russell Eldridge, who sat the game out to rest a nagging thigh problem, said: “First half we were excellent, but all the good we did in the first half we undid in the second half.”
The Commoners passed the ball well during the opening 45 minutes and caused a few problems without quite conjuring up that killer pass in the final third. Eldridge also felt they were fairly comfortable in defence and the only way they might concede was from a set-piece or a mistake.
Both teams scored in added time at the end of the half. Uckfield struck first when Common unsuccessfully tried to nick the ball as a cross came in, giving Dean Stewart-Hunter the chance to turn and score with a low shot from just outside the six yard box.
Common hit straight back, though, with a goal which stemmed from the resulting kick-off. After Lewis Hole won a header, Jamie Crone beat his man, cut inside and placed his shot into the far top corner to deservedly bring Common level at half time.
The home side fell behind again within 30 seconds of the restart. Craig Norman brought the ball down from a cross into the area, turned and scored with a shot which Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.
The game then became quite scrappy and a bit niggly. Common couldn’t get into any sort of flow and struggled to create goalscoring opportunities.
They then conceded a couple of goals in the final 20 minutes - one a deflected effort and the other where they didn’t close down quickly enough - ‘to make the scoreline probably a little bit worse than it should’ve been’ according to Eldridge.
Common: Cruttwell; Harley, Parsons, McEniry, Lusted (Maynard); Smith, Ward, Saville, Ellis (Robb); Crone, Hole. Sub not used: Eldridge.