Russell Eldridge lamented an ‘unacceptable’ capitulation from his Little Common footballers on the opening day of the new season.
A Lewis Hole double blast put Common 2-0 up in their Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One opener away to Crawley Down Gatwick, but the visitors conceded five times thereafter in what turned out to be a heavy 5-2 defeat.
Common player-manager Eldridge said: “To be 2-0 up in 17 minutes away from home on the first day of the season is probably better than we could ever have expected, but to capitulate like we did in the second half was not acceptable.
“When they pulled it back to 2-2, we weren’t strong enough mentally to grab a foothold in the game and stop it from slipping away.
“I don’t think we could’ve had a poorer second half if we tried. We went down with a bit of a whimper and we didn’t show any fight.”
Common started slightly slowly on a very hot day and Crawley Down had a bit of early pressure, but after that Common took control. Hole put them ahead by turning home a low cross from Dan Estherby, who had done well on the left.
I don’t think we could’ve had a poorer second half if we tried. We went down with a bit of a whimper and we didn’t show any fight.Russell Eldridge
Hole then doubled his and Common’s advantage after a home defender unsuccessfully tried to head the ball back to his goalkeeper.
The game then became a little bit stretched and Crawley Down got one back when a back pass failed to reach Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell.
Although Common might have had another couple of goals in the first half, they were still quite happy at the break.
But they left a player unmarked for the equaliser, and from that moment onwards heads dropped and the game slipped away rapidly.
Cruttwell made some good saves, but Crawley Down - who have been relegated in each of the last two seasons - still added a couple more goals before Eldridge put a penalty wide.
Common conceded again late on to cap a thoroughly miserable afternoon after an encouraging pre-season.
“You can accept losing games of football, but the manner in which we lost wasn’t acceptable and if we carry on like that, there will be changes,” Eldridge added.
“Mistakes and errors cost us goals, and if you do that at any level of football you’re going to lose games.”
Common: Cruttwell; Bachellier (Haward), McEniry, Sherwood (Collier), S. Mote; Estherby, Eldridge, Brown (Feakins), Foster; Crone, Hole. Sub not used: Wells.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!