LITTLEHAMPTON Football Club put in a spirited display as they exited the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday.
National League South side Eastbourne Borough were their conquerors in the quarter-final tussle at the Sportsfield.
Darren Lok bagged a first-half brace, before being given his marching orders on 63 minutes.
Ten-man Borough were not to be denied, though, and Ryan Worrell slammed home a penalty with eight minutes left to make it 3-0.
Golds player-boss George Gaskin pulled one back late on but that was not enough to prevent his side from exiting the competition.
Conditions were tricky and the pitch was in heavy condition after passing 4.30pm and 6pm inspections.
It was Borough who adapted better and took the lead after just two minutes. Sam Beale’s cross held up in the wind, before falling to Lok who fired the visitors ahead.
Both sides were trying to adapt to the testing conditions and there was little goalmouth action in the following 27 minutes.
Mitchell Hand went closest for Golds on the half-hour when his left-foot thunderbolt went just wide of the far post.
Borough began to put the home side under pressure and went close a minute later. Gavin McCallum and Miguel Baptista exchanged passes, before the former fired past Jon Hendrick, only to see Danny Hand clear his shot off the line.
The National League South side did make it 2-0 on 32 minutes. Lok took a Ryley Tate cross in his path and turned to fire a fine strike home for his second of the game.
Golds so nearly pulled a goal back a minute later. Rob Hutchings got in behind the Borough defence and crashed a low drive towards the far corner, only to see the ball hold up in the mud and then cleared by the retreating Baptista.
Hutchings was again unfortunate a minute into first half stoppage-time as Golds grew into the clash. He took a Dan Kempson pass in his path and curled a shot just wide.
Baptista so nearly got a third for Borough nine minutes after the interval but his shot from a tight angle hit the underside of the bar.
Borough were then reduced to ten men as Lok received a straight red card on 63 minutes after the forward went in late on Golds stopper Hendrick. His challenge sparked a 22-man brawl and, after things had calmed down, referee Graham Kane brandished the red.
As the game went on, Golds began to tire and they were caught out with eight minutes left. Jack Evans broke away and Danny Hand brought him down, with referee Kane pointing to the penalty spot. Worrall sent Hendrick the wrong way to make it 3-0.
Golds pulled a deserved goal back through Gaskin less than a minute later but it finished 3-1 as his side exited the competition.
Littlehampton return to league action on Saturday when they host Horsham YMCA.
LITTLEHAMPTON: Hendrick; Wiggans, Bates, D.Hand, M.Hand, Packer; Janman; Kempson, Bell; Hutchings, Gaskin. Subs: Killner (Packer), Leggatt (Bell), Ball, McKay, Barnett.
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