ARUNDEL Football Club crashed out of the Sussex Senior Cup away to division-lower Little Common on Tuesday evening.
Mullets conceded three times in the opening 19 minutes and joint boss Barry Pidgeon admitted that left his side with too much to do.
He said: “That first 20 minutes really let us down.
“No matter who you play, you cannot afford to give teams three goal starts.
“We did improve and after Asa (Nicholson) got a goal back, we were dominant. We just camped in their half for the final 20 minutes of the half but failed to create too many chances.
“It was a really disappointing one and the pitch did not help. We can have no excuses, though, as our defending was poor.”
On an emotionally-charged night after Common chairman and founder Ken Cherry had died 12 days earlier, goals from Jamie Crone (two), Lewis Hole, Russell Eldridge and Martin Denny put Common through to the quarter-finals of the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.
In sub-zero temperatures, the teams observed a minute’s silence prior to kick-off, during which a floral tribute was placed alongside the matchball on the centre spot. The flowers were then placed alongside a club shirt and scarf at the place beside the western goal where Ken used to stand during home matches.
Once the football got under way, Southern Combination League Division 1 side Common – whose players wore black armbands – took a giant step towards the last eight with three goals in the first 19 minutes against Premier Division opposition.
Crone opened the scoring in the 11th minute after Lewis Hole got on the end of a ball over the top and squared for his strike partner.
Crone celebrated by lifting his shirt to reveal a t-shirt bearing a picture of Ken and the words ‘you will always be with us’.
Crone doubled his and Common’s advantage four minutes later, calmly slotting into the bottom corner for his 23rd goal of the season having been put through by a lovely Eldridge pass.
Things got even better for Common soon afterwards as a good low cross from the right by Jared Lusted was met by a neat first time finish from Hole for his 19th of the campaign.
Arundel pulled one back in the 21st minute. Common were unable to clear Liam Da Costa’s cross from the right and Nicholson picked out the top corner.
It remained 3-1 at half time, but Common effectively put the tie to bed with their fourth goal within five minutes of the resumption.
Lusted went down under the challenge of Spencer Adams and Eldridge sent goalkeeper James Fernandes the wrong way with the resulting penalty.
Josh Biggs hit the base of the post for Arundel and home goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell saved bravely at the feet of Nicholson before Common rounded-off the scoring and just about the perfect night in the 68th minute. Lusted teed up Denny to score with an emphatic first time finish only three minutes after coming off the bench.
Common will travel to Worthing in the last eight.
ARUNDEL: Fernandes, N.Da Costa, Adams, O’Hagan, Peake, Dudas, L.Da Costa, Jones, Biggs, Herbert, Nicholson. Subs: Russell (J.Biggs 65), Jenkins (Jones 71).
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 our website your homepage at www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LittlehamptonGazette
3) Follow us on Twitter @LhamptonGazette
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!
The Littlehampton Gazette - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.