Common go top after dramatic 4-3 victory

Wes Tate scored Little Common's winner against AFC Varndeanians.
Wes Tate scored Little Common's winner against AFC Varndeanians.

Little Common's footballers went top of the league after winning an extraordinary match at the Recreation Ground yesterday (Saturday).

Common edged out AFC Varndeanians 4-3 in a Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One game featuring four goals in the first nine minutes.

The Commoners made two changes to the team which overcame Billingshurst the previous weekend, with Harry Saville and Adam Smith coming in to replace the suspended Russell Eldridge and unavailable Dom Bristow.

The match started at a blistering pace and it was the visitors who opened the scoring with barely a minute on the clock when an unmarked Freddie Barker volleyed into the roof of the net following a Varndeanians corner.

Two minutes later and the Commoners were level. Jamie Crone found Wes Tate in the area and although his effort rebounded off the post, Smith was on hand to turn the ball home.

Common were soon in front. Louis Walker’s ball into the area was nodded down by Lewis Hole and Crone slotted past the advancing goalkeeper with just seven minutes on the clock.

Adam Smith netted the opening goal for Little Common yesterday.

Adam Smith netted the opening goal for Little Common yesterday.

The lead was increased. Tate slid a ball across the box for Hole to tap home in the ninth minute and the Commoners looked to be cruising to another three points.

Further chances came and went for the Commoners, with Hole blasting over from close range and Crone seeing a chip over the goalkeeper drift wide of the post.

With 35 minutes played, the visitors found an unlikely route back into the game when an innocuous-looking Charlie Young cross into the area slipped through legs of Matt Cruttwell to give Varndeanians hope of a comeback.

Smith had an opportunity to restore Common’s two-goal cushion following a neat lay-off from Tate, but his effort cleared the crossbar. Moments later, the visitors were back on level terms as Med Shaker swept the ball home at the end of a quick break.

Common came out for the second half looking to restore their lead and in a largely uneventful half, they dominated large spells of possession without creating too many opportunities.

Common grabbed what proved the winner in the 55th minute when Crone was clipped in the area and Tate converted the spot-kick.

Hole saw an effort saved by the visiting goalkeeper before the same player was just unable to get on the end of a Tate ball across the area.

Varndeanians failed to register a single shot on target in the second period and Common were able to see out six minutes of injury time with relative ease.

Common: Cruttwell, Walker, Mote, Saville, McEniry, Cruikshank, Smith (Burgon), Tate, Hole (Aston), Crone, Wells (Lusted).

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