Penalties were the deciding factor as Hassocks were knocked out of the SCFA RUR Cup by Little Common after a ten-goal thriller on Tuesday, writes Henry Willis.
The Robins will feel aggrieved having made their higher-league status count for much of the match and took the lead through Dan Smith on seven minutes.
As the match progressed Little Common did start to assert themselves and equalised on 22 minutes through Jared Lusted.
The visitors saw a whole host of chances go astray before taking the lead on 38 minutes under controversial circumstances. Common captain Jerome Smith was tripped in the box and Chris Cummings-Bart converted the resulting penalty.
Their lead lasted just seconds though as Hassocks replied with a goal from Kieron O’Callaghan on 39 minutes, taking advantage of a spilt ball from the goalkeeper.
After the restart, Hassocks found themselves in front again on 52 minutes in a goal Stuart Faith might want to claim as James Westlake’s free-kick caused problems in the Common defence.
Just five minutes later the scores were level again as Lusted rounded goalkeeper Jack Simpson.
The Robins lost O’Callaghan for two bookable offences and two more goals in extra-time from Cummings-Bart and Lewis Hole looked to have decided the fate of the match - but there was life in Hassocks still.
A late Louis Pople brace with two almost identical goals brought the final scores level again to send the game to penalties, but Smith missed the first and Pople the last as Common progressed to the next round.
Hassocks: Simpson; South, Marsh, Faith, Bryant; Westlake (Butler, 98), O’Callaghan, Hibbert (Slaughter, 60), Weston (Pople, 98); Dan Smith, Gault.
Middy Starman - Dan Smith: Missed a penalty but stayed busy up front and made chances.