It was inevitable that Lavant made their exit from the 2nd round of the Sussex Junior Cup with one of their worst performances of the season so far.
It looked like they had just emerged from Dr Who’s Tardis onto the surface of a remote planet such was their lack of concentration and preparedness.
Rottingdean took full advantage of this and early in the first half were awarded a penalty when Martin Ayers handled in the area. But Brett Roland slammed his spot kick against the bar letting the visitors off the hook.
This spurned Lavant into action and Stuart Loversidge fired wide from 5 yards and later clipped the outside of the Rottingdean post from close range following a flick on header from Simon Watling.
A mix up in the Lavant defence allowed Craddock to eventually put the home side ahead on 26 minutes, which they maintained right through to half time, 1-0.
Rottingdean started the second half in lively fashion forcing two fine saves from Lavant keeper Martin Pullen.
Then two weak back passes in succession from Justin Smith and Jon Strange gifted Rottingdean’s striker Fowler an opportunity to nip in and score the softest of goals on 57 minutes, doubling the home sides advantage.
Lavant brought on Robbie Pinder for Dave Kent and changed to a 3-4-3 formation by substituting Smith and bring on Chris Bowles to try to get back into the cup tie but it was all to no avail.
With 15 minutes remaining Lavant also brought on Simon Blackman who unfortunately only managed to remain on the field for 3 minutes, when he and opponent Craig Williams were both shown the red card for raising arms and retaliation by referee Andy Caldwell.
By this time Lavant’s exit was guaranteed. Un-preparedness and lack of compact play on a large pitch gave Rottingdean an opportunity they did not spurn.
Next week Lavant are home to Chichester Hospitals in the Division II League. Kick Off 2.00pm.
Team: Martin Pullen, Justin Smith, Martin Ayers, Jon Strange, Matt Hine, Dan Johnson, Mike Martin, Dave Kent, Mark Richardson, Simon Watling, Stuart Loversidge. Subs: Chris Bowles, Simon Blackman, Robbie Pinder. Manager: Dave Parker.