INDIVIDUAL errors proved costly as 10-man Christchurch continued their early slump with a 4-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Fawley.

The Oilers grabbed their breakthrough midway through an open but scrappy first half when Lee Clark’s heavy touch was pounced on by Kieran Palmer who clinically despatched a low finish across Priory keeper Paul Roast.

Matters were made worse on the stroke of half-time when Lewis Proudley received a second yellow card for an overzealous challenge on the halfway line.

Christchurch settled well after the break but Fawley doubled their lead when Dylan Knight was left unmarked at the far post to crash home from a 56th-minute corner.

Nathan Saxby pulled one back a fierce volley from the edge of the box but Priory could not make the most of their lifeline and succumbed when Callum Tanner rattled home the hosts’ third late on. Matt Dodd’s dithering gifted substitute Ben Bolton the final say in stoppage time.

Christchurch first-team coach Robbie Carroll said: “The damage was done in the first half but even at 2-0 down we worked well as a 10, pushed forward and gave ourselves a chance.

“We had chances to level it but got caught by a couple of balls over the top while chasing the game in the last five minutes. Things didn’t quite go our way but there were more positives to take from it than the score would suggest.”

On Proudley’s dismissal, Carroll added: “It was fair. The challenge was one Lewis had to make but he was a fraction late and that cost us.”

Priory: Roast, Harris, Proudley, Clark, Dodd, Cullen (Wright, 81), Smith, Saxby, Lovell, Vining, Wilkinson (Moran, 29). Unused subs: Randall, Hill, Fawcett (g/k).