CAUSEWAY United failed to build on the perfect start as they crashed at home to Tipton Town.
Carl Martin put the hosts ahead within 70 seconds when he fired home first time from Aaron Lloyd’s pass.
But the scores were soon level when Sam Pritchard deflected Matt Martin’s cross into his own net.
Second half goals from Nigel Penny and Karl Edwards then sealed victory for the visitors.
With a huge FA Vase clash at Whitley Bay looming on Saturday, this was not the warm-up the home side would have wanted.
In a game which was always watchable despite the lack of clear cut chances, Tipton simply proved more clinical.
By contrast Causeway, who rested Chris Field, Scott Stevenson and Craig Gregg, struggled to find a rhythm in attack and the countless offside calls were almost equalled by the number of poor decisions made around the box.
For them the highlight arrived early, 70 seconds in to precise, when the visiting defence failed to deal with Tom Turner’s long punt downfield and Lloyd played in Martin with a lovely reverse pass from the edge of the box. Tipton keeper Jack Hayfield could do nothing about the first time finish.
Causeway looked stronger during the opening exchanges but on 12 minutes gave the initiative away. While it was Pritchard who was unfortunate to score in his own net, much of the blame lay with Matt Aston, who lost possession 30 yards from goal. Former Gornal forward Martin skipped away and fired across goal, with Pritchard helpless to prevent the deflection under pressure from Tom Tonks.
Soon after Pritchard was able to redeem himself, blocking from Penny and preventing a certain goal after the striker had managed to steal the ball away from Turner.
As Tipton grew in confidence Causeway’s forward progress became limited, with Darren Whitley off target header from a free-kick a rare attempt.
The visitors continued to look dangerous early in the second period and the hosts were given a warning when Paul Henley blazed over from close range.
Eight minutes into the half Tipton went ahead, though the goal owed plenty to fortune. A long ball upfield hit the unaware Edwards on the back, leaving the onrushing Turner hopelessly out of position when the ball fell to Penny, who fired over the keeper and defenders and into the empty net.
Causeway looked for a route back and nearly found it in the move of the match. But after a great exchange between Chris Seekings and Stuart How, the former’s ball across the face of goal was just too far in front of Martin.
The home side’s task was then made even harder when the visitors grabbed a third. A long throw into the box was not dealt with and after Turner could only push away Penny’s snapshot, Edwards was in the right place to prod the ball home.
Boss Richard Colwell introduced Scott Stevenson and Craig Gregg to try and find a way back but moves too often broke down around the box and a comeback never really looked likely.
Lloyd, who endured a largely frustrating evening after his early flash of brilliance, fired just wide on the turn while Seekings missed the target with a free header in stoppage time.
CAUSEWAY: Turner, Pritchard (Gregg 67), Meacham, Aston, Whitley, Poole, Martin, Beasley (Field 60), Lloyd, How (Stevenson 68), Seekings subs not used: Sproston, Priest.
Goal: Martin 2.
TIPTON: Hayfield, Plows, Ashton, Haycock, Henley, Foster, Black (Wilson 61), Tonks, Edwards, Penny (Bladen 82), Martin (Wardle 69) Subs not used: Hill, Collins.
Goals: Pritchard og 12, Penny 53, Edwards 68.