Stunning turnaround keeps Common top

Lewis Hole's double against Ringmer took his goal tally for the season to 23.
Lewis Hole's double against Ringmer took his goal tally for the season to 23.

Little Common Football Club produced a stunning turnaround to win a bottom versus top clash yesterday (Saturday).

The Commoners scored three goals in 11 second half minutes to turn a 2-0 half time deficit into a precious 3-2 victory away to Ringmer.

Two goals from Lewis Hole after Dan Cruikshank's strike kept Common top of Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One with 10 games left.

Common made one change to the team which had lost at Steyning Town the previous weekend, with Rosh Wells coming in for the unavailable Adam Smith.

It was a poor first half performance from the visitors and Ringmer could have been out of sight after 20 minutes having spurned two one-on-one chances in addition to netting twice.

The scoring was opened after only 10 minutes. Some sloppy play in the Common midfield saw Ringmer break quickly and as Jack Webber dribbled across the area, Dom Bristow made a rash challenge, leaving the referee with little option but to award a penalty. Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell guessed the correct way, but was unable to keep out Luke Donaldson's spot-kick.

Dan Cruikshank's third goal in the last four games started Little Common's turnaround.

Dan Cruikshank's third goal in the last four games started Little Common's turnaround.

One was almost two when Webber raced through following an early ball over the top, but Cruttwell saved well with his feet.

Ringmer's second goal did arrive in the 18th minute. The Common defence once again pushed too far up the pitch and was caught out by a ball over the top. This time Webber made no mistake, racing through and slotting past Cruttwell.

Common tried to find a way back into the match, but were wasteful with their passing and had a reluctance to shoot when well placed around the area.

Jamie Crone dribbled across the box, but was pushed too wide to get a shot away before Hole saw a header flash wide. Russell Eldridge saw a free kick saved and Wells was unable to force home the rebound.

The Common player-manager was clearly not happy with his team’s performance in the first 45 minutes and this was evident as the teams left the field at half time.

Whatever was said during the interval clearly had the desired effect as the Commoners began the second half strongly and halved the deficit after eight minutes.

A quickly taken Eldridge free kick released Wes Tate and he pulled the ball back to Cruikshank, who found the top corner of the net from eight yards.

Seven minutes later and the Commoners were level. An early ball over the top found Hole, who raced towards goal before slotting past the advancing goalkeeper.

Common were now full of confidence and took the lead four minutes later. Eldridge’s corner found Hole on the edge of the area and his first time volley was deflected past the goalkeeper.

Hole had a chance to complete his hat-trick, but saw an effort saved and a Crone shot flashed across the goal. Ringmer rarely threatened the Common goal, but did force a smart double save from Cruttwell following a corner with 10 minutes remaining.

Common: Cruttwell, Bristow, Mote, Eldridge, Aston, Cruikshank, Saville (Burgon), Tate, Hole, Crone (Sloat), Wells (Walker).

Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 24-53, 2 Saltdean United 24-53, 3 Steyning Town 25-50, 4 East Preston 22-49, 5 Mile Oak 24-47, 6 Lingfield 23-42, 7 Storrington 25-33, 8 Southwick 25-32, 9 BEXHILL UNITED 25-31.

See our comprehensive sports coverage in the Observer every Friday.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!