A disappointing opening half-hour ultimately proved costly for Little Common Football Club in a 3-2 defeat at home to Horsham YMCA yesterday (Saturday).
The Commoners went 3-0 behind and although they pulled two goals back before the break, their three-match unbeaten run in the Southern Combination League Premier Division came to an end.
Common remain fourth-from-bottom of the table as the three teams below them were also beaten yesterday.
See also: * Little Common ‘have belief’ heading into daunting run
* Little Common end four-month winless run
* Little Common out of relegation zone after away draw
Common were forced into three changes, with Ollie Weeks, Dan Ryan and Adam Smith coming in to replace Paul Feakins, Ryan Paul and Wes Tate, as they looked to build on their win against East Preston four days earlier.
Kicking with a strong wind, the fourth-placed visitors made the perfect start by taking the lead after just two minutes. Dean Bown rose unmarked to head home a delivery into the box.
Common seemed to settle a little in what was a scrappy affair, with the visitors often giving away possession by over-hitting balls towards their forwards.
However, two goals in three minutes appeared to have put the game to bed.
Horsham went two-up as Ryan Alexander’s sliced clearance flew beyond Matt Cruttwell for an own goal and they added a third when a corner to the back post was hooked home by Tom Gilbert.
This seemed to spark the Commoners into life and four minutes later Lewis Hole reduced their deficit following good hold-up play from Jamie Crone in the area.
Sam Ellis saw a cross-shot saved by the YMCA goalkeeper, who also kept out a Smith header. A second Common goal soon arrived when Ellis drove into the box before being upended and Russell Eldridge converted the resultant penalty.
Kicking with the wind in the second half, the Commoners enjoyed most of the possession, although the visitors remained dangerous on the break. Bown saw an effort blocked by a Liam Ward tackle and Cruttwell saved a low shot at his near post.
At the other end, Ward’s volley cleared the crossbar and Hole had a goalbound effort deflected over following a neat pull-back from Crone.
Common continued to press and almost found an equaliser in the dying minutes. Tate’s flick was saved and despite knocking in the rebound, Crone was flagged offside.
Common: Cruttwell, Weeks (Tate), Ryan (Greig), Ward, Parsons, Alexander, Eldridge, Smith (Tewkesbury), Hole, Crone, Ellis.
Southern Combination League Premier Division bottom six (played-points): 15 Loxwood 29-27 (-25 goal difference), 16 Langney Wanderers 30-27 (-28), 17 LITTLE COMMON 30-23 (-25), 18 Shoreham 30-21 (-38), 19 Arundel 30-21 (-41), 20 Eastbourne United AFC 29-18 (-44).