Arundel Football Club twice let a lead slip before they fell to a 3-2 home loss at the hands of Southern Combination League Premier Division leaders Eastbourne Town on Tuesday.
Josh Biggs and Dave Herbert twice gave Mullets the lead but Town foughtback to win.
The game’s turning point came seven minutes from time as Mullets’ Niall O’Hagan was dismissed for violent conduct and Wesley Tate slammed the resulting penalty home to take Town top.
Mullets joint boss Barry Pidgeon said: “The sending off cost us. We did so well in the game but that moment was the difference.
“The performance was much better and that will give us something going forward.”
Josh Biggs netted on 37 minutes but Aaron Capon made it 1-1 before the break. Herbert put Arundel ahead on 49 minutes but Jason Taylor’s strike made it 2-2 with 24 minutes left.
O’Hagan then saw red and Tate fired home the spot-kick.
Despite the loss, Pidgeon feels he saw enough that gives him hope Mullets win end their five-game league losing run at Hassocks on Saturday.
The Arundel joint boss was also pleased with Dion Jarvis who made his full debut in central midfield.
He added: “I thought Dion did really well. To come in and make your debut against a team as strong as Eastbourne Town, in midfield, is never easy.
“We’ve been on a really tough run and the fixtures have been tricky. Now we are starting to play teams around us and we need to try to pick up some points.”
ARUNDEL: Boyle; Jenkins, Peake, O’Hagan, Hunter; Nicholson, Jarvis, A.Biggs, N.Da Costa; Herbert, J.Biggs. Subs: Richards (J.Biggs), Tipper (Herbert), Adams, L.Da Costa.
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