Common determined to follow up big win

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon
Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge has stressed that last weekend’s splendid victory will count for little if the football club doesn’t follow it up.

The Commoners won 3-0 at home to then Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One leaders East Preston and will be seeking more of the same when they host Storrington tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off is 3pm.

Eldridge said: “I was absolutely made up with the result. It was testament to the boys and the group to achieve that result on a difficult day to play football (because of the windy conditions).

“I thought we adapted better to the conditions and used our experience to manage the game in a way that was able to see us collect the three points.

“But the result means nothing if we don’t follow it up in the next game. The most important game is the game you’re about to play.”

A Lewis Hole hat-trick gave Common their 18th win in 27 league matches and took their tally of league goals past the 80 mark, despite being without several players.

“We’ve got individuals who can win games and on this occasion it was obviously Lewis who got the hat-trick,” Eldridge continued. “But I thought we defended well and took our chances when they came.

“We were missing four (players) who started the previous game, but the boys who came in did well. We’ve got a group and whoever steps into the team can perform.”

Common remain in fourth place and are four points behind leaders Saltdean United having played fewer matches than two of the teams above them.

They will be eager to pick up three more points tomorrow against an 11th-placed Storrington side which beat them 2-1 in August’s reverse fixture - one of only four league defeats Common have suffered all term.

“I’m sure the performance and result last week will give everyone a boost and the confidence to go out there and play like we did in last two games,” Eldridge added.

“There’s a real focus about the objectives we want to achieve and where we want to finish. We’re in a strong position and the hard work we’ve put in all season at the moment is starting to show.”

Dan Cruikshank and Jared Lusted are expected to return, and Bradley Pritchard should be available. Steve Mote has had stitches in a head wound.

Bexhill United are without a fixture this weekend and will return to action with their final home game of the season, against Selsey, next Saturday (March 11).

After that they have a trio of away matches, against Billingshurst (March 18), East Preston (March 25) and Little Common (April 17).

Bexhill, whose players have been given this week off, are eighth in the table at present, but a few teams are close behind them with games in hand.

Joint manager Ryan Light says his players must learn from the division’s leading clubs as they come towards the end of what, for many of them, is their first full season in senior football.

“The top five have all got different playing styles and we’ve got to really take note,” said Light, whose team was beaten 4-0 at home to leaders Saltdean United last weekend. “We’ve got to watch and learn, and try to recreate that.”

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